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Alcoholism and Addiction Research

What Is Addiction?

While the exact definition of addiction varies, addiction is a condition in which an individual persists in the use of alcohol or another substance despite harmful effects on his/her health, work or relationships. Chronic, heavy use often results in tolerance, where more of the substance is needed to achieve the same effect, as well as withdrawal symptoms if use of the substance is cut back or stopped.

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What Is the Impact of Substance Abuse?

Almost everyone knows someone affected by addiction or substance abuse. Alcoholism and addiction are not just personal problems—they also affect families and communities. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that approximately 15 percent of Americans have a substance use disorder involving alcohol, nicotine or illicit drugs, resulting in a cost to the U.S. economy of $539 billion per year. Healthcare economists estimate that every dollar invested in addiction research or treatment yields a return of more than $12 in healthcare, work productivity and law enforcement savings.

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Recent Addiction Research and News at The Scripps Research Institute

See also the Scripps Research Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research.

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Links for General Alcoholism and Addiction Information

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