Facts About Addiction

Addiction is a pervasive and complex issue affecting millions worldwide, transcending age, gender, and socioeconomic status. It’s a multifaceted condition characterized by the compulsive use of substances or engagement in behaviors despite adverse consequences.

If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, Buena Vista Recovery can help. We can provide critical facts about addiction, shedding light on its intricate nature, underlying factors, and treatment.

Addiction isn’t a moral issue or a lack of willpower; it’s a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors leading to persistent and compulsive patterns. Addiction hijacks the brain’s reward system and causes profound changes in cognition, behavior, and emotional regulation. 

Quick Statistics and Facts About Addiction


The Symptoms of Addiction

Common symptoms of addiction include the following: 

  • Cravings for a substance
  • Difficulty in controlling the amount, frequency, or duration of substance use
  • Needing increasing amounts of a substance or in more frequent doses to achieve the desired effect
  • Withdrawal symptoms when substance use is reduced or discontinued
  • Failing to fulfill work, school, or personal obligations due to substance use
  • Strained relationships with loved ones due to substance use
  • Continued use despite consequences
  • Mood swings when not using the substance


Commonly Asked Questions

What’s the Difference Between Psychological and Physical Addiction?

Psychological addiction involves the mental and emotional aspects of addiction driven by the brain’s reward system and the release of chemicals like dopamine that create a sense of pleasure and reinforcement. Key features of psychological addiction include:

  • Cravings
  • Emotional dependence
  • A sense of pleasure or relief reinforcing the desire to repeat the behavior
  • Psychological withdrawal symptoms like depression, anxiety, and irritability


Physical addiction, or dependence, involves the body’s physiological response to a substance. This addiction occurs when the body adapts to the presence of a substance and begins to require it to function normally. Critical features of physical addiction include the following:

  • Tolerance, where the body needs more of a substance to achieve the same effect
  • Physical withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, nausea, insomnia, and muscle aches
  • Dependence, where the body relies on the substance to maintain normal functioning


An essential fact about addiction is that these two types are not mutually exclusive and often coexist. 

Is Addiction a Disease?

Yes, addiction is a disease commonly referred to as substance use disorder (SUD). 

Is Addiction Hereditary?

Addiction is affected by genetics and other factors. Research suggests that over half of substance use problems stem from DNA differences. 

What Causes Addiction?

A combination of factors can influence a person’s risk of addiction. The more risk factors a person presents, the more likely drugs or alcohol use will lead to addiction. Some of the most notable characteristics include:

  • Biology: Biological risk factors include close family members with a substance use disorder, gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental health disorders like depression or anxiety.
  • Environment: Many environmental factors can influence a person’s likelihood of developing addiction, including economic status, peer pressure, early drug exposure, excessive stress, sexual abuse, and general quality of life.
  • Development: The earlier a person uses drugs or alcohol, the more likely the use will progress to addiction. Teens are at particular risk because of their still-developing brains in areas controlling willpower, judgment, and decision-making. 

Addiction Treatment

While these facts about addiction can help you recognize the symptoms, you must seek professional help if you struggle with addiction. Untreated addiction can wreak havoc in every aspect of your life and raise your risk of developing certain health conditions, overdose, and death.

At Buena Vista Health and Recovery Centers, we offer comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs designed to address the unique needs of individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Our approach is rooted in evidence-based practices, compassionate care, and a commitment to long-term recovery.

Contact Buena Vista today to learn more about addiction and addiction treatment or to get on the path toward recovery.

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