The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) just released a new definition for addiction after a four-year process involving more than 80 experts. It seems it is no longer a behavior problem but instead a brain disorder. Is this just semantics? Well, it depends how it is used. By defining it now as a chronic disease like diabetes it opens up a lot of doors. Not all of them are good. Does that excuse certain behaviors that go along with the addiction ("I need to rob that house to buy some meth because my brain has a disorder")? Maybe it does and that concerns me. I see a lot of mental health issues as a primary care doctor. With those problems come a lot of addictions. I understand the need to define it better but I am concerned with any disease that can be twisted so it seems it is OUT of our control. I am sure some lawyers will be using this new definition very shortly. You heard it here first.