Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is a chronic disease that affects an individual’s brain and behaviour, resulting in the inability to control the use or misuse of drugs or medication.
There are many misconceptions about drug use, and many people mistakenly think that individuals with drug addiction simply lack moral principles, willpower or discipline to ‘stop the habit’.
In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease and quitting involves not just willpower or motivation. Drug addiction leads to brain changes, making it difficult to quit. It’s also a relapsing disease, which means that people commonly return to drug use after several attempts to stop, if they do not receive the right treatment or do not have the right plans in place.
Thousands of Australians face the social, economic and physical consequences of drug addiction. Drug addiction takes a great toll on the individual’s life, causing drastic changes in personality, financial problems, social isolation and risk of developing different kinds of diseases that may result in disability or even death.