Substance abuse is considered a disease because it involves changes in the brain that can lead to compulsive drug or alcohol use, even in the face of negative consequences. Addiction is now recognized as a chronic brain disease by the medical and scientific community, and is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the harmful consequences. The changes that occur in the brain as a result of substance abuse can alter a person’s self-control, judgment, and ability to resist the urge to use drugs or alcohol, making it a difficult condition to overcome without professional help.