The Addiction Project is produced by HBO in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease. Brain imaging shows that addiction severely alters brain areas critical to decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control, which may help to explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of addiction.
Drug abuse starts early and peaks during the teen years. This increased risk is partly due to adolescents’ heightened sensitivity to social influences (friends) and their still developing brain, particularly areas critical to judgment and impulse control.
Scientific studies demonstrate that the right mix of behavioral therapy, medication (when available) and personal support can help addicted people navigate the road to recovery. Learn how to pick an appropriate treatment approach.
Addiction treatment is just the beginning. Long-term recovery requires a lifetime commitment to healthy decisions and actions. While relapse is common, families can prepare for it. Learn techniques to enhance the odds of long-term recovery.
The stigma associated with addiction is one of the greatest challenges to recovery. Each year only 10 percent of Americans who need alcohol and drug treatment get the help they need. Yet with treatment and support, people with addiction can lead productive lives.
About the Experts
The Addiction Project has benefited from contributions by the leading experts in the field of addiction. Throughout this website you will find original articles written by experts featured in the Addiction series and more.
Through the lenses of several highly accomplished documentary filmmakers, the current state of addiction in America is explored in nine segments, punctuated by the latest thinking on treatment and recovery by leading experts on drug and alcohol addiction.