Over the last decade, addiction has affected millions of people throughout the United States, and the numbers are growing. But what exactly is this phenomenon? Is it a moral failure? A poor choice? Or a medical disease? The United States’ two biggest addictions, cigarettes and alcohol, cost our health care system more than $100 billion every year. In addition, the United States has more drug offenders behind bars than any other industrialized country.
Addiction explores the many ways addiction touches, and has touched, the lives of every member of society, including users, non-users, and friends and relatives of users. This volume also attempts to explain addiction as a medical and behavioral phenomenon, define drug use and behaviors that can reach compulsive levels, and illustrate various ways to treat addictions.