Addiction: The Unmet need
More than 1 in 7 Americans ages 12 and older have addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.
Major advances in neuroscience, brain imaging and behavioral research show that addiction can be thought of as a complex brain disease affecting behavior. However, it is often viewed as a moral failing due to lack of willpower, and therefore, not treated as a medical illness. Those living with addiction, and their families, often feel isolated in their struggle to understand the disease and find effective treatment. This is due in part to the shame and stigma attached to addiction and to the separation of most treatment from mainstream health care practice.
“I applaud CASAColumbia’s exemplary role in building communities free from the devastation of alcohol and drug abuse.
Your compassionate service empowers people and gives them the hope and purpose they need to succeed.”
—President Barack Obama
What Does CASAColumbia Do?
CASAColumbia works to:
- Close the enormous gap between what we know about addiction and what we actually do to prevent and treat it
- Incorporate addiction prevention and treatment into routine health care and medical practice
- Explore the possibility of finding a cure
CASAColumbia is a science-based organization focused on developing effective solutions to address the disease of addiction and risky substance use. It was founded in 1992 by Joseph A. Califano, Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
CASAColumbia is committed to understanding the science of addiction and its implications for health care, public policy and public education.