Not too many years ago, addiction was seen as a sin, or a moral failing, or a character flaw, and, therefore, the emphasis was on punishment.  Science is now showing us a much different picture of addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease, with the emphasis on treatment, just like we do for other chronic diseases.  Watch this 6 1/2 minute video by Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse on addiction and the brain.