Addiction is a progressive, life-threatening and chronic brain disease that affects over 25 million people in the world today. It has been described as a medical condition that is lead by a compulsive drive to continually engage with substances or in activities despite the negative consequences or outcomes.
What makes addiction so complex and different than other medical brain diseases is that it has a bio-psycho-social component, an environmental component, a physical component, as well as a spiritual component. These additional components make addiction difficult to understand, and confusing for those individuals not suffering directly from the disease. Because of the complex nature of addiction, there is a continued stigma connected to the disease; many people continue to view it as a moral issue of choice instead of a documented and proven brain disease.
The stigma and shame that continues to be attached to the disease of addiction threaten the lives of millions, as it keeps both those suffering from the disease and their loved ones in the shadows of shame and in hiding.