Addiction: A chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and drug use and by neurochemical and molecular changes in the brain.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A disorder that often presents in early childhood, characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Central nervous system (CNS): The brain and spinal cord.
Craving: A powerful, often uncontrollable desire for drugs.
Dopamine: A neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure.
Narcolepsy: A disorder characterized by uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep.
Psychomotor stimulants (psychostimulants): Drugs that increase or enhance the activity of monoamines (such as dopamine and norepinephrine) in the brain. Psychostimulants increase arousal and activity, as well as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
Psychosis: A mental disorder characterized by symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations and disordered thinking.
Rush: A surge of euphoric pleasure that rapidly follows administration of a drug.
Tolerance: A condition in which higher doses of a drug are required to produce the same effect as experienced initially.
Toxic: Damage to an organ or group of organs.
Withdrawal: A variety of symptoms that occur after chronic abuse 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.