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May 13, 2009

Drug Addiction as a Brain Disorder or Disease—Reply

JAMA. 2009;301(18):1881-1882. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.636

In Reply: In our Special Communication, we used the term addiction instead of dependence (the clinical term used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [Fourth Edition]) to avoid confusion with physical dependence. Physical dependence results in withdrawal symptoms when drugs such as alcohol and heroin are discontinued, but the neuroadaptations responsible for these effects are different from those that underlie addiction (compulsive drug-taking condition with loss of control over the intense urges to take the drug even at the expense of adverse consequences).1,2

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