Most medical associations characterize addiction as a disease. Defined as a “chronic brain disorder”, the disease of addiction is caused by the combination of behavioral, environmental, and biological factors that create changes in brain function. Addiction is a tumultuous situation for the addict and the people that the addiction comes into contact with because of the addictive behaviors that an addict displays. What baffles most people is that other diseases such as diabetes and cancer do not make a patient lie, cheat, and steal like addiction does.
A chronic disease endures and can be controlled, but not cured. Addiction is in that same category because it is progressive, can involve relapsing, and is treatable with intensive care and a continual aftercare. This chronic brain disorder can be reversible with long-term treatment care and support although some of the ailments caused by addiction are permanent.
The question that is thought provoking for everyone is whether an addiction is a choice or if it is a disease. When somebody takes their first drink or takes their first drug, typically it is because they make the choice, regardless of peer pressure. What happens after that is different for everyone. Some people can live without it, some people can drink moderately, others are binge drinkers, while still others become addicted and it no longer becomes a choice for them.
Once an addiction come to fruition, all bets are off. The addict can no longer show restraint and becomes dependent on the drugs and alcohol. Once the changes in the brain take place, willpower becomes flawed and one of the symptoms of addiction, loss of control, takes over.
Because an addict is usually not in their right mind from the inception of their addiction, the actions that they take can be less than desirable and cause relational, emotional, physical, and legal problems. Having an addiction is not a valid reason to justify all these problems. A way to justify these predicaments is solely by cessation of drugs and alcohol and making amends for the troubles that the addict has caused.
With any disease there are mild cases and there are severe cases and all symptoms vary. Addiction is no different and comparing one addict to another is irresponsible just like it would be to compare cancer patients or patients with diabetes. Seeking treatment is important whether it is diabetes, cancer, or even the disease of addiction.
If you are trying to get and stay sober, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is well-versed in all things having to with drug and alcohol addiction. We can set up with your own individualized plan to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us today: 844-720-6847