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Addiction Science

Brief Description

Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. Through scientific advances, we know more about how drugs work in the brain than ever, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and lead productive lives.  Learn more

Explaining Addiction

Why Are Drugs So Hard to Quit

Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs

IRP Researchers Spotlight

2014 Intel Addiction Science Winners

Other Resources

Past information on many drugs of abuse is available on our Archives site.

This page was last updated December 2012