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Addiction is recognized as a disease by most major health authorities. The primary symptom is loss of control over the use of one or more addictive drugs, including alcohol. Treatment consists of counseling and new prescription medications designed to bring about abstinence. Older methods like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are still successful for many.

There are hundreds of blogs devoted to treatment and recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 23 million Americans seek treatment each year for illicit drug or alcohol use.

Common drugs of abuse — in addition to alcohol — include heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and nicotine. Detoxification and withdrawal can last for weeks or months, and relapse is common.

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