You might wonder, “Is addiction a disease?” Many people don’t consider addiction to be a disease at all. They blame those with drug and alcohol dependency for not being able to quit. However, getting clean is about more than pure willpower. Learn more about addiction so that you or a loved one can take steps to overcome it.
Is Addiction a Disease?
Addiction is a disease that negatively impacts the body and brain. It changes brain chemistry in areas of reward and motivation. It affects a person’s memory, as well as how they make judgments. Addiction also affects the body by damaging organs and other bodily systems.
For people who don’t consider addiction to be a disease, part of their argument is that users choose to abuse drugs and alcohol. However, just because someone decides to do something doesn’t mean they can’t develop a disease. After all, many people sunbathe or eat unhealthy foods. If they later develop skin cancer or heart disease, did they choose to get it?
So, for anyone asking “Is addiction a disease the same as cancer?” the answer is, of course, “no.” However, it’s still a disease in its own right. While addiction initially involves a choice of using, over time, as the brain’s chemistry changes, users stop being in control of their actions. This is why they continue abusing drugs and alcohol in spite of suffering negative consequences, including trouble with their relationships, work, and health.
How Addiction Treatment Works
Addiction specialists know that people struggling with substance abuse disorder have no control over their use. Often, they desperately want to quit using, but they just can’t.
Treatment gets to the core issues behind addiction. It could be trauma, a persistently negative mindset, anger issues, or a mental health disorder. Whatever it is, it’s vital that users and their therapists address it.
Instead of escaping into substance abuse, users learn better coping skills. They’ll recognize what their unique triggers are in order to avoid them or healthily deal with them. Addiction education helps users understand their motivations so that they can make better choices going forward.
Effective Treatment From Addiction Specialists
If you’re wondering is addiction a disease, then you likely need support. If you or a loved one needs help overcoming addiction, Gateway Foundation Joliet provides a range of addiction treatment programs. As part of the largest nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment group in the country, we’ve helped over one million men and women in the past five decades. Our combination of evidence-based therapies and compassionate patient care is designed to meet individual needs on all levels.
The services we offer include:
Is addiction a disease? The experienced professionals at Gateway Foundation Joliet believe it is, and we provide effective treatment for it. Join a recovery community that’s strong and supportive. Call us today at 815.206.8477 to see how to get started on a path to lasting sobriety.