Drugs change the brain, disrupting and hijacking its normal functions. For most people, the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, but over time, drug abuse can cause changes to the brain that impair a person's self-control and ability to make sound decisions, while generating intense impulses to take drugs.
There is a need to classify patients at genetic risk for drug seeking behavior prior to or upon entry to residential chemical dependency programs. New research and technology at certain facilities is currently available to assess and treat these new findings.
Drug addiction is preventable.
Researchers have developed a broad range of programs that are effective in preventing early use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs and in curbing abuse that has already begun. Preventing substance abuse early in life, especially during adolescence, can reduce the chances of later abuse and addiction.
Drug addiction is treatable.
Like diabetes, asthma, and heart disease, drug addiction is a chronic disease that can be managed successfully. Relapse is not a sign of treatment failure, but rather an indication that treatment should be reinstated or adjusted to help addicted individuals fully recover.