New Video Breaks Down Science of Addiction in Time for National Recovery Month

By Victoria Kim 09/21/15

American Chemical Society posted a compelling look at the chemistry behind addiction in a new YouTube video.

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The folks over at the American Chemical Society posted a new video last week, "The Chemistry of Addiction," (embedded below) which illustrates the science behind addiction in time for National Recovery Month.

The YouTubers behind “The Chemistry of Sriracha” and “How Smartphones Keep You Awake”—their channel is dedicated to explaining the chemistry of everyday life—delve into a brief history of society’s evolving perception of addiction, the leading cause of accidental death in our society, before they get into what creates that familiar, insatiable appetite for pleasure in the brain.

The video breaks down how drugs and alcohol affect the brain’s reward system and cause one’s brain chemicals to get out of whack, and the biology behind the eventual withdrawal. With millions of Americans suffering from this affliction, it's something we should all know.

September is National Recovery Month. It’s shed a light on the dire need for access to addiction treatment in the United States. An estimated 22.7 million Americans (8.6%) needed treatment for a problem related to substance abuse in 2013, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But just 2.5 million people (0.9%) were able to receive treatment at a specialty facility.

The treatment gap has been exacerbated by the opioid crisis, providing people with no choice but to wait months, sometimes years to be treated.

You can find information about Recovery Month events, personal stories, and other resources at

Check out "The Chemistry of Addiction" below:

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr