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Addiction Series Part I: What is Addiction?


As a primary care doctor and addiction medicine specialist, I am deeply concerned about the impact that dependency on substances such as alcohol, tobacco and opioids has on men, women as well as children, particularly teenagers and youth. Watch my video*, Health Tip: Addiction 1: What is Addiction?, for a quick overview of this complex problem. For more information, please continue reading below.


* Addiction is a chronic medical disease. It is a disease of the brain, and NOT a sign of moral weakness or failure. *
* Most people with addiction, once connected to the appropriate treatment and recovery services, get better. *

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Drug overdose deaths TRIPLED from 1999-2014 (60% were associated with opioids)
  • In 2015, there were 52,000 drug overdose deaths –> 33,000 (63%) were associated with opioids
  • A multifaceted, collaborative approach between public health and law enforcement is urgently needed

Stay tuned for more Health Tips on Addiction.

Take care of yourselves, and learn more about addiction and other health topics on my website 🙂


*This video was made while I was still caring for Boston’s homeless men and women, many of whom experienced addiction.


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