According to the World Health Organization, addiction is “a disorder of altered brain function brought on by the use of psychoactive substances.” Recent advances in neuroscience confirm the conclusion of the World Health Organization that addiction is as much a brain disease “as any other neurological or psychiatric illness.” These findings have fundamentally changed the way that addiction is viewed in the scientific and medical communities and will have a great impact on how treatment will be approached.
The Human Brain on Methamphetamine
The Yin and Yang of Science, however, demand that dysfunction cannot truly be comprehended without an understanding of normal function. To this end, Part I of this essay reviews the normal structure and function of the human brain. Then in Part II, the neurological dysfunction of addiction is explained and supported by compelling scientific evidence. In the end, there should be no doubt that addiction is indeed a disease like any other and that it must be treated as such.