Drug or alcohol addiction was once considered a “bad habit.” Because addiction is often associated with personal blame and shame, it made seeking help difficult. Today, the addiction definition has been updated. While there’s still somewhat of a stigma, most of society no longer casts out struggling individuals.
How Is the Addiction Definition Understood Today?
Today’s addiction definition relates to a chronic, relapsing brain disease. This means that addiction is much like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. These are other diseases that can become better but are still prone to relapse.
A diabetic is vulnerable to a sugar-induced relapse. A patient with high blood pressure must avoid fat content in foods. An asthmatic must use medications to stabilize respiratory problems. Similarly, someone with a drug or alcohol addiction must exercise healthy living and coping skills to avoid relapsing on abused substances.
Even during recovery, addiction is permanent and ongoing. It includes a pattern of compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the affected person knowing that drugs are dangerous for them. Part of addiction is that these people will use their substances, even as their lives fall apart around them.
We know now that substance abuse changes brain structure and chemistry. These changes often last a long time. The affected brain works differently and leads to harmful, self-destructive behaviors. With addiction, even the most responsible people change into those who endanger themselves and others for their drug use.
How to Heal from Addiction
Because addiction is a chronic disease, it will always exist, and the trap of using substances can still ensnare you even after achieving sobriety. Relapse is common during recovery because people believe they are stronger than they used to be. In some cases, it occurs because they stop taking making their own wellness a priority.
Recovery is achievable with the right help. You may be one of those people who become sober and never struggle with drugs or alcohol again. Or you may be someone who has to fight the disease every day, just to remain sober into old age. However your recovery looks, it provides bright hope for a better future.
The best way to gain healthy recovery is through a drug and alcohol treatment program. High-quality substance abuse treatment provides you the tools for getting sober and staying that way. You learn how to cope with cravings, triggers, and temptations. You also learn your weaknesses and personal strengths while learning how those play into your substance abuse.
Individually-Focused Treatment for Drugs or Alcohol
Located in Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis Recovery Centers can help you achieve a healthy recovery. Using an individualized addiction treatment approach, we meet you where you are in your sobriety and teach you effective coping skills to keep you on the right path. At Memphis Recovery Centers, we offer a variety of addiction treatment programs, including:
If you or someone you love are ready for addiction recovery, call Memphis Recovery Centers today at 866.304.8254.