According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Pain Society, and the American society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is: “a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations.” They also stressed the fact that exposure to drugs is only one of the etiologic factors in the development of addiction; and that this disease is identifiable due to the observation of one or more of several attribute behaviors including: impaired control over drug use, craving and compulsive use, as well as continued use despite negative, mental, and/or social consequences.
According to them, addiction and physical dependence are different since physical dependence is “a state of adaptation that is manifested by a drug class specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist.”