New Definition of Addiction: A Chronic Brain Disease


In this podcast, Dr Michael Miller discusses a new definition of addiction, released by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) recently released a new definition of addiction.1 In this  podcast, Dr Michael Miller discusses the clinical ramifications of the definition as well as the subsequent changes in patient assessment and treatment.

Dr Miller is Past President, American Society of Addiction Medicine; Director of the American Board of Addiction Medicine; Medical Director of Herrington Recovery Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital; Vice Speaker of the Wisconsin Medical Society; Associate Clinical Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Associate Clinical Professor, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr Miller oversaw the 4-year process of creating the definition, which involved a collaboration of over 80 experts in the field of addiction research and neuroscience. Addiction is a "primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry."2 As with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it must be treated, managed, and monitored over a lifetime.

New Definition of Addiction

References1. American Society of Addiction Medicine. Addiction is a chronic brain disease, not just bad behaviors or bad choices. August 15, 2011 press release.
Accessed November 14, 2011.
2. American Society of Addiction Medicine. Public policy statement: definition of addiction. Accessed November 14, 2011.

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