Drug treatment centers and alcohol treatment centers have always recognized the fact that what they are treating is not a “bad habit” easily fixed by a good dose of willpower, but a complex condition. Addiction meets all of the conditions for the medical diagnosis of a “disease”, and thankfully, more and more researchers and addiction experts support this theory of addiction as a disease. Their efforts may have a profound effect upon future treatments for the disease of addiction, as well as, how the US legal system will adapt itself towards (hopefully) a less punitive, more sympathetic approach.
Genetics research and disease mapping research has shed a great deal of light upon the nature of addiction. Currently, addiction is viewed as a neurological disease as there are profound changes in the neurotransmitters within the brain of the addict. Whether the drug use caused the deficiencies and ill-function, or whether issues within the neurological functioning of the brain drove the individual to abuse drugs is still in question. Recent research is leaning towards that answer being: “both”; dependent upon the genetic makeup of the addict.
Regardless of the “how” the addiction is rooted, whether it is an organic birth defect or an acquired condition, addiction meets all of the qualifications of “disease” and is (at least for statistical purposes) tracked as a disease by government agencies such as the Centers of Disease Control or SAHMSA.
If you have a family history that is tied to addiction, if you are displaying disease characteristics of addiction (progressive and debilitating to your life) treat addiction as the medical condition it deserves to be viewed as and seek help from a medical provider or drug treatment and/or alcohol treatment center today.