Substance-related and addictive disorders are complex and often can result in significant consequences for the individual. The biological processes that cause addiction involve the reward pathways in the brain.
These circuits provide rushes of positive feeling and feel-good chemicals to “reward” substance use.
The areas of the brain responsible for stress and self-control also undergo long-term changes during an addictive disorder. This contributes to on-going difficulties in abstaining from the addictive substance.