The simple dictionary definition for Disease: an illness that affects a person, animal, or plant : a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally.
There is no cure for drug addiction, but it is a treatable disease.
There is a lot we still don’t know about who becomes addicted and why, and after how much drug exposure. We do know that each person is different. Some people seem to be able to dabble in drug use for a while, while others experience negative consequences and can get hooked early on. Also, we never really know when addiction specifically starts, and a person’s genetics play a major role, meaning that some people get addicted a lot faster than others. The main point is that no matter how in control someone may seem, there are chemical changes occurring in a person’s brain, and sooner or later, it can affect anyone’s ability to perform mentally and physically.
There are some people who believe addiction is a choice, not a disease. One of the most popular therapies for substance abuse are twelve step programs. The main component of these twelve step programs is spirituality. One can argue that a disease that can be clinically treated with spirituality is not really a disease at all. Rather, it should be classified as an ethical problem instead of a medical one. In most cases, an addict is not capable of making a good choice in the grips of active underlying diagnosis like depression, anxiety, or stress.
No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I’m going to be an addict.” Addiction is a process – not a singular event. Most people who start using drugs do so with the intention of only using once or occasionally. With repeated drug use, dopamine function in a drug abuser’s brain becomes abnormal. Because dopamine is involved in feelings of pleasure and motivation, the person feels flat, lifeless, and depressed when they are not taking the drug.
Drug addicts can and do recover, but they must always be aware of their problem and work to never fall into addiction again, which is a lifelong process. Drug addiction therapy during treatment uses behavior change or modification. In treatment it is common to include detox, and medications that assist the user in refraining from drugs or alcohol. Like people with diabetes or heart disease, people in treatment for drug addiction learn behavioral changes that may be assisted with medications that they need to sustain chemical imbalances.
Scientists and doctors know that prolonged abstinence from certain drugs allows some of the drug-induced brain changes to reverse themselves. With proper therapy and treatment addicts have to change their lifestyles and learn how to cope with the world—and they may always have to combat the urge to use drugs. We will help find you a treatment center that supply maximized techniques in helping someone back to a healthier life and happier habits. Get in touch with one of our counselors today.