Addiction is a brain disease.

This malady has many reasons and influences for a person to begin using drugs and alcohol abusively. Somewhere in this process of drug abuse, the person steps over an invisible line from a problematic behavior to a permanent mental health issue or brain disease, called addiction.

The reason a person uses in this stage is different than the reason the person began to use. It is because of continued use, emotional trauma and possibly genetic factors that the brain gets hard wired into thinking that it does not have a choice but to use drugs. The person cannot make a choice; because it has lost the ability to choose.

The person's brain chemistry has also changed over this process. Drug use artificially increases the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Dopamine and serotonin, especially when released in the brains pleasure pathway, create elation, euphoria and excitement. Constant use of drugs over a period of time conditions the brain to not produce these transmitters naturally. That is because the brain anticipates the artificial inflation of the transmitters created by the drugs. When the transmitters are deficient it causes the person a great deal of anxiety and discomfort. Drug use artificially and temporally increases these neurotransmitter levels, thus relieving the effects of the deficiency. Thus the person is forced into always chasing a temporary reduction of discomfort. They often repeat this process until death.