The most important thing you can understand about addiction is that it's a serious, chronic and progressive disease — but one that can be successfully managed through continued treatment and support.
Although the initial decision to use drugs is voluntary for most
people, continued substance abuse is not a sign of little willpower or a
lack of morals. Drugs contain chemicals that cause brain changes over
time, actually altering the brain's communication system and disrupting
the way the nerve cells normally receive, send and process information.
These changes interfere with one's self control and the ability to
resist intense impulses for further substance use.