Dennis M. Shaughnessy, M.D. Medical Director for The Springboard Center

In August 2011, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) published its Public Policy Statement concerning the definition of addiction. In short form, the definition is as follows: “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of the brain’s reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations.” This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain or resist cravings, impairment in behavioral control, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and dysfunctional emotional responses within interpersonal relationships. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in permanent disability or premature death.

The definition summarizes the treatment philosophy of The Springboard Center and is the focus of our cutting edge treatment facility. Our dedication to engaging the individual and his or her family in the recovery process sets us apart and helps us realize our goal of providing client-centered care the same way we might care for any patient with a chronic illness.

If you or someone you know is currently having problems with substance use and it is interfering with any aspect of life, we encourage you to pick up the phone and contact Springboard! We can and we will help.


Dennis M. Shaughnessy, M.D., MRO, FASAM
Medical Director for The Springboard Center

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