When getting treatment for addiction, it is vital to answer the question, “why is addiction a disease?” In particular, people who think that their substance abuse is due to a lack of self-control or a moral failing need to understand this factor. They also must know how the best life skills training program in Houston, TX can help people like you recover from a lifetime of addictive behaviors.
Why Is Addiction a Disease? A Medical Look
When asking, “is addiction a disease?” it is essential to examine what has become the most common model for understanding substance abuse. The American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Method utilize what is known as the Disease Model of Addiction. This model states that addiction is classified as a disease and must be treated as one.
For example, this model states that a combination of factors causes addiction to develop. This is similar to other diseases such as cancer or persistent heart conditions. These elements include genetic factors – people having an “addictive” personality–, behavioral concerns, environmental issues, and biological influences that may make some people more prone to addiction than others.
Just as important, substance abuse changes the functioning of the mind and the body, like other diseases. Addiction hijacks a person’s brain and starts to reward the user for taking substances. Moreover, these changes are out of the control of the person using, which is what makes addiction such an insidious and challenging disease to treat without a high-quality addiction treatment center in Houston.
Like All Diseases, Addiction is Not a Moral Choice
Skeptical individuals may ask, “why is addiction a disease when a person chooses to take substances in the first place?” Others may decry what they perceive as the immoral nature of substance abuse and claim a person with addiction simply lacks the character to quit abusing drugs. Rehabilitation specialists fight hard against these perceptions – which can make treatment difficult – and try to showcase why addiction is a disease.
For example, the article “Biology of Addiction” stated that “A common misperception is that addiction is a choice or moral problem… nothing could be further from the truth.” The article argues that people with addiction lose control of their behavior because of the way that addiction changes their brain. And like someone with cancer or diabetes, no concept of morality is involved with their addiction disease.
These misconceptions create barriers to treatment in many ways. For example, many may avoid treatment because they hold these beliefs and want to avoid being judged for their substance abuse. Thankfully, high-quality rehabilitation centers can help their clients answer “is addiction a disease?” with a firm “yes,” and guide them to a drug-free life through care options like a 90-day extended care addiction treatment program.
Treatment Methods Reflect This Disease Model
Understanding “why is addiction a disease?” is critical for anyone who wants to go through appropriate treatment. Like all diseases, professionals must diagnose and treat substance abuse with focused treatment options tweaked for an individual’s condition. And like all diseases, addiction is managed using a variety of principles that help steer care. These principles include the following concepts:
- Addiction is a treatable disease that requires persistent attention
- All treatment options must be tweaked to suit the needs of each client
- Quick access is critical for effective care
- Each individual must stay in a facility for an appropriate time
- Mental and physical disorders must be addressed
- Detoxification is just the first step but a crucial one
- Voluntary treatment isn’t necessary for some individuals
These principles help steer individuals and treatment specialists towards effective care options. For example, dual diagnosis treatment programs help those with mental health disorders that contribute to their addiction. Likewise, cognitive-behavioral therapy may be necessary for those who experience behavioral influences on their substance abuse.
Getting Help for This Problem
Please don’t let addiction take control of your life. If you are wondering, “why is addiction a disease?” and need help getting treatment, please contact us at Serenity Light Recovery today. Call 855.658.6109 to learn more about our insurance options and the care we provide. With residential and intensive outpatient programs, 12-step programs, cognitive behavioral therapy, and yoga therapy, we can help you walk away from addiction for good.