For hundreds of years, people have labeled addiction as a personal flaw. Many people also call substance use in addiction a “habit.” So is addiction a disease, as you hear in the media today, or is it a personal choice?
According to recent medical research, addiction is a disease. This research shows that drugs change the physical and chemical structures of your brain. They create the need to continue using drugs while also affecting your logic and decision-making abilities.
Is addiction a disease?
The U.S. government answers the question of, “Is addiction a disease?” DrugAbuse.gov says addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease causing people to compulsively seek and use drugs despite the harm those drugs do to their lives.
This definition means someone with a drug addiction keeps using them even when they realize drugs cause them harm. In other words, they know drugs cause health, financial, relationship, legal and work problems. They don’t want to need drugs. But addiction makes them need to keep using and unable to walk away from their substances without help.
Why is addiction a disease?
Addiction works in your body and brain much like other chronic, relapsing diseases. Asthma, heart disease and diabetes provide good examples of other relapsing, chronic diseases. In these conditions, people do well for a while and then go through relapses before beating their diseases. It’s the same with addiction.
While you do choose to use your drug for the first several times, this choice doesn’t matter later. When addiction takes over, you no longer have a choice. Confusing the issue even more, some people suffer addiction while others do not. Some people have the biological setup to slip into physical or psychological dependence, while others don’t enter into addiction as easily or as quickly.
Addiction changes your brain. It causes you to become physically dependent so you experience withdrawals if you stop using the drug. Addiction also changes how your brain processes decision-making. You stop making the right choices and make the choices your body wants you to make for its addiction.
Treatment Can Heal Your Addiction
Despite addiction being a life-changing, brain-altering disease, you can recover from it. You just need the right help. Rarely does anyone get sober and stay sober on their own. This is particularly true during detox when simply stopping your drug use can lead to physical danger.
Rehab centers exist for these reasons. They help you enter and get through detox. Rehab then provides you the programs, support, therapies, and education you need to gain strength in lasting sobriety. Because addiction is a relapsing disease, rehab plays a major role in helping you prevent relapse and overcome it when it does happen.
At Woodlands Recovery Centers in The Woodlands, Texas, you gain the support, therapies, and education you need in detox and rehab. You go through trauma therapies, individual counseling, group therapy and experiential therapies to build a lasting recovery. These programs and addiction therapy services include:
- On-site and remote IOP
- PHP rehab
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Family therapy
- 30 to 90-day programs
Call Woodlands Recovery Centers at (855)752-3377 today, for the help you need for your disease. You can break through to recovery. You just need the right help.