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May 13, 2009

Drug Addiction as a Brain Disorder or Disease

JAMA. 2009;301(18):1881-1882. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.635

To the Editor: The Special Communication on treating drug abuse and addiction in the criminal justice system by Dr Chandler and colleagues1 appeared to use inconsistent nomenclature. On page 183, the authors wrote that addiction is a “brain disorder.” Yet on page 189, they wrote that addiction is a “chronic brain disease.” I would appreciate clarification of this apparent discrepancy, with bibliographic documentation for these diagnoses if possible.