The technical term 'drug dependence' was officially adopted by WHO's Expert Committee on Addiction in 1964. Until this, to describe a state of dependence, terms such as 'poisoning', 'habit', 'ism', and 'addiction' had been used from time to time. Until the 1950's, investigators were mainly focussed on the phenomena of physical dependence. However, once the concept of psychic dependence had been introduced, behavioral and neuropharmacological studies on the modes of drug action that produce psychic dependence were activated and have progressed in the last two decades, and among the points clarified by these studies are the following : 1. The critical drug properties that produce psychic dependence are those of rewarding subjective and reinforcing effects of drugs but these effects are not the properties that produce physical dependence, although the development of physical dependence on particular drugs such as opiates may substantially enhance craving for the drugs. 2. The mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine systems in the brain and also the N. Accumbens play a primary or at least a partial role in producing the subjective and reinforcing effects of major dependence-producing drugs such as cocaine, opiates, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and ethanol. 3. Many drugs such as naltrexone, methadone, and some dopamine antagonists and serotonin reuptake inhibitors or antagonists were found to be effective in the pharmacotherapy of the dependence on opiates, cocaine, or ethanol.