Contrary to popular belief, addiction is NOT a moral or character defect. In fact, it is a complex brain disease. It is a chronic disease characterized by craving, seeking, and use that can persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences. Alcohol/Drug-seeking may become compulsive in large part as a result of the effects of prolonged use on brain functioning and, thus, on behavior. For many people, relapses are possible even after long periods of abstinence.