Policy Paper

Increase Coverage and Access to Addiction and Overdose Treatment

Addiction and Overdose Treatment

PhRMA May 5, 2016

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is a complex problem with no single solution. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a brain disease in which some individuals “are more vulnerable than others to becoming addicted, depending on the interplay between genetic makeup, age of exposure to drugs and other environmental influences. While a person initially chooses to take drugs, over time the effects of prolonged exposure on brain functioning compromise that ability to choose, and seeking and consuming the drug become compulsive, often eluding a person’s self control or willpower.