Is Addiction a Disease?
Effective addiction treatment relies on the best scientific approach in diagnosing and controlling addiction. Our understanding of addiction has undergone a transformation of scientific understanding. Previously, people addicted to substances like marijuana were regarded as morally flawed. The emphasis was on punishment, not prevention, and treatment. However, in more recent times, the understanding of addiction has expanded. Now, addiction is regarded as a disease, and the way that the disease is treated has expanded accordingly.
Treatment for any addiction at a rehab for alcoholism or drug addiction, including at a marijuana addiction treatment centers in Texas, relies on evidence-based treatment and holistic therapies. These programs provide insight into the disease of addiction so that you can chart a course for lasting recovery,
Answering the Question, Is Addiction a Disease?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse acknowledges that addiction is a disease: “As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a medical disorder that affects the brain and changes behavior.”
Additionally, DrugAbuse.gov describes the disease of addiction this way: “Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her.”
So, despite the historical tendency to regard addiction to drugs and alcohol as a moral failing brought on by a lack of willpower, there is a new diagnostic and treatment model: addiction is a disease. Research proves it.
Drug Addiction Is a Brain Disease
Drug addiction causes physical changes in the brain’s normal function. Addiction, as previously stated, creates an overwhelming and compulsive drive to keep using harmful substances. It inhibits the normal decision-making abilities found in sober persons.
While the initial decision to take drugs is usually voluntary, any drug, including marijuana, interferes with and disrupts the brain’s reward circuitry. With long-term marijuana usage, the areas of the brain associated with decision making, remembering, learning, and behavior control are affected. Scientific studies at the National Institute on Drug Abuse have found that addiction is a process eroding neural pathways in the brain’s self-control and decision-making centers. Thankfully, with evidence-based therapies like a cognitive behavioral therapy program, you can learn to identify negative behavior patterns and rewire these neural pathways.
Treating Addiction as a Disease
It is important to note that the way we look at a condition has a strong influence on how that person is treated. Regarding addiction as a disease clarifies some crucial treatment approaches:
- The view that drug or alcohol addiction is solely the result of personal choice and weakness is inaccurate and unhelpful. The reality is that many are biologically or environmentally predisposed to drug addiction.
- It is essential to understand that many who experiment with drugs never get addicted. Recreational use of drugs is safe for some but can lead to addiction for others. An alcoholic, for example, can describe the condition as “one drink is too many, and a hundred is not enough.”
Finally, addiction is characterized by periods of recovery and relapse. Understanding the triggers for relapse and engaging in a chronic relapse treatment program when necessary, can help to increase the chances of a successful recovery. Recovery from the disease of addiction requires consistent effort and compassionate support, but the rewards are worth it.
The Right Step Centers in Texas Treats Marijuana Addiction
We have addressed the question, “Is addiction a disease?” It is. So, don’t let this disease ruin your life. Visit our quality rehab center and begin the journey to lasting recovery. Contact us at 844-768-0410 for further advice and information.
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