Heroin addiction takes over your life and wreaks havoc on everything and everyone you love. But is heroin addiction a disease? Does being a disease explain why walking away from your drug feels impossible?
Is Heroin Addiction a Disease?
So, is heroin addiction a disease? Heroin changes your brain and body functioning. Your brain’s structure changes to work with the drug, instead of against it. The brain also uses heroin in place of its own chemicals. This reduces production of your natural brain chemicals that help you feel pleasure.
When you stop using heroin or even fall behind in getting your next dose, you feel ill effects of withdrawal. These effects occur because your brain adapted and now needs the drug to function normally. If you use heroin, these effects end and stop making you sick. That is, until the next time you need your drug.
With all of these brain changes, heroin addiction is much like other chronic relapsing diseases. Diabetes, asthma and heart disease provide some examples of other chronic relapsing diseases. Like an addiction, any of these relapse when you do not follow your doctor’s instructions. That means you must start fresh again to regain control over the condition.
How Heroin Addiction Is Not a Disease
In answer to that question of, “Is heroin addiction a disease,” the straightforward response is, “Yes.” However, heroin addiction is not like a virus or other illness you can catch from others. You do not “catch addiction.” Addiction often happens because you suffer underlying conditions that need treatment.
Some of these causes of addiction include:
- Sexual or physical abuse
- Panic disorder
- Family history of addiction
You possibly started using drugs or drinking because you grew up around these behaviors. Or maybe someone in your family suffers the disease. Otherwise, maybe you suffer a co-occurring condition of depression, anxiety or other mental illness. Many people fall into addiction through self-medication.
Furthermore, whatever your root causes of addiction, you need treatment for those and the substance abuse, itself. Without complete treatment, your untreated condition pushes the treated one into relapse.
What Treatment Do You Need for Your Disease?
If you suffer the disease of addiction, you need complete rehab treatment. This treatment must include therapies, support, and addiction education. Together, all of these services make up a quality heroin addiction treatment program.
Rehab services you need include:
- PHP, IOP, OP and aftercare programs
- Extended care 90-day treatment option
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Individual therapy
- Trauma therapy
In Portland, Oregon, Crestview Recovery provides heroin addiction treatment. Men and women from all over the Pacific Northwest gain lasting sobriety after also asking, “Is heroin addiction a disease?” You can gain strong sobriety, too. So call Crestview Recovery now at 866.262.0531 for more information about heroin treatment programs.