Addiction: A chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and abuse and by long-lasting chemical changes in the brain.
Anabolic effects: Drug-induced growth or thickening of the body's nonreproductive tract tissues—including skeletal muscle, bones, the larynx, and vocal cords—and a decrease in body fat.
Analgesics: A group of medications that reduce pain.
Androgenic effects: A drug’s effects upon the growth of the male reproductive tract and the development of male secondary sexual characteristics.
Antidepressants: A group of medications used in treating depressive disorders.
Cardiovascular system: The heart and blood vessels.
Hormone: A chemical substance formed in glands in the body and carried by the blood to organs and tissues, where it influences function, structure, and behavior.
Musculoskeletal system: The muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
Placebo: An inactive substance (pill, liquid, etc.), which is administered to a comparison group, as if it were therapy, but which has no therapeutic value other than to serve as a negative control.
Sex hormones: Hormones that are found in higher quantities in one sex than in the other. Male sex hormones are the androgens, which include testosterone; and the female sex hormones are the estrogens and progesterone.
Withdrawal: Symptoms that occur after chronic use of an addictive drug is reduced or stopped.
This series of reports simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest.
Please note: After September 2013 all NIDA Research Reports will be offered online exclusively. Orders for printed hard copies must be received by August 15, 2013.
As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.