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Drug addiction is a complex illness. It is characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.


Research & Statistics

  • ADAI Bibliographies on Substance Abuse The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) Library at the University of Washington provides a list of bibliographies on substance abuse. The bibliographies include citations to journal articles, books, book chapters, and miscellaneous reports and unpublished documents.
  • Data Reports by Topic - SAMHSA
  • NIDA Information for Researchers

    Links to various NIDA publications, including research reports, Addiction Science & Clinical Practice journal, NIDA Notes, and more.

  • NIDA Notes This publication covers drug abuse research in the areas of treatment and prevention, epidemiology, neuroscience, behavioral science, health services, and AIDS. The publication reports on research; identifies resources; and promotes communication among clinicians, researchers, administrators, policymakers, and the public.
  • Opioids and Adolescents
  • Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study (POATS)

    Treatment Strategies for Prescription Opioid Dependence is a package of tools and training resources for substance use disorders treatment providers.

  • PubMed

    PubMed comprises more than 20 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

  • The National Center on Addiction and Substance AbuseThis national organization publishes research reports, surveys, and other literature relating to substance abuse.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Research Reports NIDA provides research reports on findings of national interest for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners.
  • The Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System

    The Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System is a prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion surveillance system that collects timely product-and geographically-specific data.

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The path to drug addiction begins with the act of taking drugs. Over time, a person's ability to choose not to take drugs can be compromised. Drug seeking becomes compulsive, in large part as a result of the effects of prolonged drug use on brain functioning and, thus, on behavior.

The compulsion to use drugs can take over the individual's life. Addiction often involves not only compulsive drug taking but also a wide range of dysfunctional behaviors that can interfere with normal functioning in the family, the workplace, and the broader community. Addiction also can place people at increased risk for a wide variety of other illnesses. These illnesses can be brought on by behaviors, such as poor living and health habits, that often accompany life as an addict, or because of toxic effects of the drugs themselves.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse