In the past, society has viewed addiction as a choice or some kind of moral flaw. In reality, that definition couldn’t be further from the truth. You might be asking, “Is addiction a disease?” Without a doubt, the answer is, “Yes.”
Is Addiction a Disease? The Answer Is Yes
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is just one governing body that identifies addiction as a disease. In order for addiction to be considered as an illness, it usually needs to be something professionals can clearly diagnose. Because The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes substance abuse disorder, addiction is clearly a serious mental health issue.
In this context, substance abuse disorder should be treated like any other brain disease. However, there’s no denying that a person can suffer physical, financial and emotional side effects as well. Many medical professionals treat addiction as a mental health disorder like bipolar or depression. All of this indicates that, just like any other mental illness, addiction is certainly not a choice.
Is Addiction a Disease? Why Medical Experts Treat It Like One
When considering whether addiction is a disease, thinking about treatment is crucial. Like any other serious illness, addiction can’t be cured instantly. It takes ongoing medical attention to help patients achieve recovery.
Just like diabetes or cancer, there’s a chance that addiction can reappear after treatment is over. Known as relapse, it’s one reason that ongoing treatment and aftercare are important for patients.
When treating an addiction, the best facilities use a range of evidence-based therapies. While individuals can have preferences or respond better to some options, having a time-tested medical protocol is key.
During substance abuse treatment, some of the approaches and therapies used might include the following:
- Individual behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Dual diagnosis and trauma therapy
- Comprehensive holistic health therapies
- Family therapy
Addiction Has a Genetic Component
It’s also worth noting that addiction, like many other diseases, can have a genetic factor. Addiction can be more common in certain families. This is also true of certain types of cancer, down syndrome or cystic fibrosis.
If addiction is partially genetic, then it can’t be a choice. It also can’t be a failing on behalf of an individual person. It’s an illness that deserves attention, medical care and proper treatment. Upon recovery, individuals may need ongoing care.
Is addiction a disease? The definitive answer is that yes, it absolutely is. At Memphis Recovery in Memphis, Tennessee, we can help you start treating your addiction right away. Call 866-304-8254 to learn how to overcome substance abuse and embrace lifelong sobriety.