Addiction is a treatable chronic medical illness that involves complex interactions between an individual's brain circuits, genetics, environment, and life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences. Addiction is the inability to stop using a substance or engage in behavior even though it is causing psychological and physical harm. Researchers have made great strides in this field, which can be seen by analyzing past definitions of addiction, past treatment methods, and public opinion.
The most commonly agreed part of any definition of addiction is that it leads to substantial harm. For example, the social worker who works with addicts may feel motivated to quit smoking after realizing that their cigarettes are in fact “fixed”.