Addiction, be it substance-related (alcohol or drugs) or process-related (gambling, food sex, shopping, etc.) is a brain-based disorder recognized by the American Medical Association as a primary disease. It is chronic (meaning it never goes away by itself), progressive (meaning it always gets worse until appropriately treated) and fatal.
How is Addiction Difference From Other Diseases?
The primary characteristic that differentiates addiction from other diseases, like diabetes, multiple sclerosis or heart disease, etc. is the phenomenon of denial; people suffering from addiction do not think they have a problem, or do not think the problem is as serious as it actually is.
Confronting and overcoming denial is the main purpose of undertaking an intervention.