Addiction: A chronic and complex
disease that affects a person’s ability
to control their dependency on a
substance (such as alcohol, tobacco
or drugs) or a behaviour or process
(such as gambling, gaming, shopping
or pornography). The Canadian
Mental Health Association describes
addiction of the presence of the 4 Cs:
craving, loss of control of the amount
or frequency of use; compulsion to
use; use despite consequences.
Adverse childhood experiences
(ACEs): Negative experiences such
as severe neglect, abuse or household
dysfunction that can weaken the
foundation of a child’s brain.
development: The foundation for
learning, behaviour and health,
brain architecture is like building a
house—it starts with the foundation
and develops in an orderly sequence.
Brains are built over time, from the
bottom up, with the most intense
development in the early years. A
strong foundation in the early years
increases the chances of having a
healthy life and stable relationships.
A weak foundation increases the risk
of problems later in life.
Brain plasticity: The brain’s capacity
to change and reorganize with input
from the environment. Usually, the
brain is most plastic during early
The following terms
and concepts are used
throughout this issue