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Addiction, the Brain, and Evidence-Based Treatment - Interview With Redonna K. Chandler

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2012
2 pages
This video and accompanying transcript of an interview with Redonna K. Chandler, a presenter at NIJ's Research for the Real World Seminar, addresses the nature of addiction, the relationship between drugs and crime, and drug abuse as a chronic condition.
Ms. Chandler portrays addiction as fundamentally a brain disease that results in changes within the structure of the brain manifested in dysfunctional behavior that has adverse consequences. Addiction occurs because of repeated exposure of the brain to various addictive substances, including nicotine, alcohol, and illicit as well as prescription drugs. A significant amount of research shows a link between drug use and crime. A high percentage of criminal offenders are under the influence of both drugs and alcohol when they commit crimes, including violent crimes, property crimes, and drug trafficking crimes. Drug abuse has proven to be a chronic condition that may require multi-pronged interventions that include medications as well as behavioral interventions over the long term, given the high risk for relapse. In terms of interventions by the criminal justice system, this means treatment must occur not only during incarceration but also in the community after release.

Date Published: March 1, 2012