Drug addiction being a disease or not continues to be an ongoing discussion amidst the epidemic sweeping the nation. While some believe that drug addiction is a choice, studies and statements from leading medical institutions are proving otherwise and it’s reshaping our perspective on drug addiction as a whole. The National Institute on Drug Abuse… read more
Disease or not a Disease | Miami
What is Addiction?
Addiction has become common in the last years. Many fall into its trap, while the people surrounding them are affected. It can happen in many forms: gambling, drugs, alcohol, and other activities.
But what separates addiction from simply enjoying the pleasures of life?
Addiction is when the activity has interfered with the individual’s life. Addiction happens when the person relies on the substance or activity to function. Often, someone afflicted with addiction may not realize it at first. The signs appear gradually, almost unrecognizable. Before you know it, it has already gotten out of hand.
Is It a Disease or a Choice?
A disease is a disorder that affects the mind or body. It becomes chronic when it becomes uncontrollable or incurable.
But, isn’t addiction controllable? A lot of people believe that addiction is a choice. It’s believed that addiction can simply be turned off as easily as it was started.
While the start of drug use is a choice, that choice can be removed by addiction itself. Addiction affects the brain functions. Long-term use of drugs and alcohol can affect learning, memory, and behavior. At this point, it becomes uncontrollable. It becomes a disease.
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Many medical professional and organizations have declared substance addiction as a disease. As DrugAbuse.gov defines, addiction is a brain disease. It forces the individual to use the substance or activities despite their consequences. It is a chronic disease that, if left untreated, can become dangerous.
Still, there are those who blame the individual for their addiction. Yes, the first intake of drug and alcohol is the person’s choice, but the addiction is developed within their brain. This is the same as developing diabetes and heart disease by the person’s diet and lifestyle.
People who suffer addiction are not to at fault. The substance that they are using affects their body and mind directly, which causes the addiction. The brain becomes dependent on the substance. It believes that it cannot function properly without it, while the opposite is actually the truth. With the brain affected, it is difficult for the individual to resist.
What can be one about it?
Like many other diseases, addiction is treatable, but it may be incurable. With various research conducted by professionals, there are now methods to control addiction. There are already innumerable success stories of patients overcoming their addiction.
Research suggests that addiction treatments are best combined with therapy. The treatments can rid the body and brain from the effects of the substance. The therapy ensures that the patient will not go astray. These treatments and their long-term effects will depend on the individual. So, determining the cause of their addiction and giving awareness will be most beneficial to the patient.
Addiction is also preventable. Organizations created programs to give awareness about addiction and how to prevent it. With the knowledge of their harmful effects, people can choose not to try drugs and alcohol.
Addiction is a disease. It affects the person’s mind and body. It can be dangerous. But it is treatable and preventable. Determination and the support of the patient’s loved ones are the keys to their improvement.
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