An addiction physicians' society in United States has said that instead of being seen as problem regarding lack of willpower, addiction should be considered as a chronic brain problem.
Doctors with the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) said that the new definition will help not only medical professionals but also the families to understand the challenges that they have to face to overcome the problem.
ASAM's stand was backed by Dr Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who said that the behavioral problem was a result of brain dysfunction.
Stating that many of the behavioral problems among addicts could be seen as the result of the disease of the brain, ASAM's Dr Michael Miller said, "At its core, addiction isn't just a social problem or a moral problem or a criminal problem. It's a brain problem whose behaviours manifest in all these other areas. The new definition also recognizes addiction as a chronic disease, like cardiovascular disease or diabetes, so it must be treated, managed and monitored over a lifetime."