Addiction is a long-term (chronic) disease. You may also hear it called substance use disorder. It involves seeking out drugs and using them even when the results are harmful. Addiction may also be called substance abuse disorder. It can be caused by using too much of a drug or alcohol. Over time, addiction changes the structure and function of the brain. Find out more about addiction by taking this quiz.
Someone with an addiction needs to use more of the drug because their body develops a tolerance for it. The person also has withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the drug. Other addiction symptoms are:
Healthcare providers use screening tools to help identify addiction in patients. These tools use special questions that look at alcohol and drug abuse.