Stanton Peele: Is Addiction a Chronic Brain Disease?


Credit: Curtis Gregory Perry / / CC BY-NC-ND

After decades of growing acceptance, the concept that addiction is a medical disease (more exactly, a chronic brain disease) is now being challenged. As Stanton Peele explains, if you actually look at the brain scan of a cocaine user, it won't tell you whether or not that person is addicted, nor will it tell you whether or not that person will go out and use cocaine again now, or ever. In reality, addiction involves people, their situations, their drugs, and other powerful experiences. What's more, human choice always remains an essential factor in the equation.