Substance addiction, also called substance use disorder, occurs when someone compulsively uses drugs or alcohol despite the negative consequences. This can lead to severe impairments in their lives, including problems with work, relationships, and physical health.
Substance addiction is a chronic disorder characterized by compulsive alcohol- and/or drug-seeking and use despite harmful consequences. Substance use disorder is considered a brain disease because it changes how the brain works. These changes can be long-lasting and can lead to harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs.
There are many different types of substances that people can become addicted to, including alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. People can also be addicted to behaviors like gambling or sex.