Is addiction a disease? It’s a question that people have asked for ages. While most people recognize addiction as a disease, it hasn’t always been that way. Going back 40 years or more, society believed that people who suffered from addiction were second-class citizens that lacked self-control or morals.
Is Addiction a Disease?
Times have changed, and people are finally learning the truth behind addiction. Studies show that people who suffer from addiction don’t have bad self-discipline or low morals. Addiction is a disease that robs them of choice. Rather than choosing to have an addiction, the addiction consumes them.
Experts define addiction as a chronic brain disease. That definition applies to more than just drug or alcohol addiction. They classify the disease as a compulsive desire to seek out an activity or substance. People seek out their addiction regardless of self-harm or societal views.
Changes in the Brain
Addiction changes the brain’s chemical balance. These changes often result in increased levels of dopamine. While most people associate high levels of dopamine with taking drugs, other activities stimulate dopamine production as well.
The brain naturally produces dopamine as a reward. When people eat good food or engage in activities that they like, the brain releases dopamine. However, when drugs or alcohol start synthetically producing dopamine, problems arise.
Despite dopamine coming from the brain naturally, drugs are still the most common cause of addiction. They either increase the amount of dopamine that the brain releases or block receptors from receiving it. When they block the receptors, the brain produces more dopamine to break through the blockade, which makes the problem worse.
Why Do Some People Become Addicted While Others Don’t?
Experts still don’t know what causes addiction in some people but not others. However, many assume that, like other disorders, addiction is genetic. Studies suggest that some people are simply more likely to develop an addiction if it runs in their families. Those studies also indicate that social standing and environmental factors also play a role in the development of addiction.
Don’t Let Addiction Rule Your Life
Is addiction a disease? The answer is definitely, “Yes.” However, where can individuals go to overcome it?
At Santé Center For Healing, we strive to help you or your loved one during every stage of the addiction recovery process. Unlike some rehab centers that offer either detox or rehab, we offer both. Some of the other addiction treatment services that we provide include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Aftercare rehab program and relapse prevention
- Family therapy program
- Intensive outpatient program
At Santé Center, we understand that no two patients are the same. We want to ensure that you or your loved one gets the best possible treatment for addiction. You will receive treatment tailored to your needs and that will help you be the most successful. It can be hard to stay clean after rehab, so we want to give you the tools that you need to stay sober once you leave.
Fight back against drug and alcohol addiction. Learn why the best rehab centers offer both detox and rehab services. Contact us today at 866.238.3154 for more information.