Position Paper on Addiction and Cannabis Policies

The document reflects Dianova’s views on addiction treatment and prevention, and drug policies, including cannabis


Addiction is characterised by a person’s inability to stop a repeated cycle of behaviours designed to give them pleasure despite their potential considerable negative consequences – image Shutterstock

Excerpt from document

Dianova adheres to the definition of addiction proposed in 2019 by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (revision of the 2011 definition): “Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviours that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences”. “According to this model, people with addictive disorders need similar level of care as people with other medical conditions.

Dianova believes that this view of addiction as a disease like any other helps to reduce the stigmatization of people with substance use disorders or other dependencies. On the other hand, in Dianova’s opinion, the explanatory model of “addiction as a disease” should not overshadow the multifactorial nature of the problem (see below: vulnerability and protection factors). Similarly, although advances in neurobiology and brain imaging make it possible to take a fresh look at the problem and develop promising treatments, they should not call into question the value of biopsychosocial approaches in the treatment of substance use disorders (SUD) and other addictions. 

Position paper on SUD and other addictions and on cannabis policies