Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.
Addiction is a complex but treatable disease. It is characterized by the compulsive craving, seeking, and use of a substance that persists even in the face of severe adverse consequences. For many, drug abuse becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.
In fact, relapse to drug abuse occurs at rates similar to those for other well-characterized, chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. As a chronic, recurring illness, addiction may require repeated episodes of treatment before sustained abstinence is achieved. Through treatment tailored to individual needs, people with drug addiction can recover and lead productive lives.
The ultimate goal of drug addiction treatment is to enable an individual to achieve lasting abstinence, but the immediate goals are to reduce drug abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of drug abuse and addiction. Like people with diabetes or heart disease, people in treatment for drug addiction will also need to change their behavior to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.
In 2010, 22.6 million Americans age 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem (8.9 percent of the persons were age 12 or older). For more information click here.
Untreated substance abuse and addiction add significant costs to families and communities, including those related to violence and property crimes, prison expenses, court and criminal costs, emergency room visits, healthcare utilization, child abuse and neglect, lost child support, foster care and welfare costs, reduced productivity, and unemployment.
For more information about addiction, treatment and recovery, or joining Indiana's fight against substance abuse, please contact the Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana. Click here to access your county.