There are many people who ask, “Is addiction a disease?” Individuals who struggle with drug or alcohol use want to know how severe the problem is and what kind of treatment they need. On the other side of that coin, people who know someone with a problem often want to know if addiction is a disease because their loved one’s actions don’t make sense. Addiction only affects about one out of every 12 people, so it’s common for people to not understand.
Is Addiction a Disease?
For many years, people thought that anyone struggling with alcohol or drugs simply made selfish, poor decisions. Lack of knowledge on the subject caused many people undue suffering. Over time, people began to notice that this was a deeper problem. As recently as the early 20th century, people weren’t receiving the proper treatment for addiction. Because of this, scientists started to conduct research to help explain addiction better. Thanks to them, we now have a better understanding of addiction
Maybe most importantly, we now understand that addiction is a legitimate disease that affects the brain. The brain produces a chemical called dopamine, which gives us the sensation of pleasure. There’s a part of the brain responsible for moderating the flow of dopamine so we can make logical decisions. Brain scans show that people with addictions receive extra dopamine in this part of the brain.
Someone with an addiction can have a problem with anything that produces pleasure, such as the following:
- Narcotic medications
Treatment Programs Can Help
Now that we’re aware that addiction is, in fact, a disease, breakthroughs in treatment happen all the time. Addiction programs are able to provide people with treatment that helps heal and repair the brain. While there’s still no cure for the excess flow of dopamine a person receives, there’s a way to help people change their behaviors. Addiction treatment is about learning how to alter the behaviors that lead to substance abuse.
The brain constantly logs memories to repeat actions that gave a person pleasure, which forms habits. For someone with an addiction, these habits become uncontrollable, and the person must break the cycle. Treatment provides clients with healthy strategies for breaking this cycle. In treatment, a person identifies triggers and can learn how to respond to them in a new way.
Making the Most of Treatment
Is addiction a disease that’s ruling your life? If so, it’s time to seek rehab. Healing the brain is not a quick fix, so you should always try to get as much out of addiction treatment as you can. Quality treatment centers like Crestview Recovery offer you multiple levels of care to give you the best treatment possible. Crestview offers a partial hospitalization program, an intensive outpatient program, and aftercare. At our facility, you can rest comfortably knowing that you’re in good hands.
At Crestview Recovery, we don’t need to wonder, is addiction a disease? We know it is. Therefore, we commit ourselves to your recovery process. Therefore, we offer a variety of addiction treatments, including: