ASAM Updates Society’s Definition of Addiction

The American Society of Addiction Medicine in 2011 set out to revise the society’s definition of addiction with the aid of families, policy makers and members of the media to help combat the stigmatizing language and misunderstood terminology of addiction. The updated definition underscores the complex and unique conditions that play a role in an individual’s addiction, along with addressing the biological, psychological and social factors that contribute to the disease.

The updated definition reads:

Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases.

Click here for more information regarding ASAM’s updated definition.