Is addiction a disease? Many families ask this question when their loved ones struggle with addiction. While some people want to believe that it’s a lifestyle choice that people can change, it’s not that simple. The short answer to this question is that addiction is, in fact, a disease. However, through addiction treatment services, recovery is possible.
Why Is Addiction a Disease?
Most medical associations, including the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), label addiction as a disease. In order to understand why, people have to learn more about the disease model that these associations use.
Like the ASAM, the American Medical Association (AMA) labels addiction as a disease. It puts addiction into the same category as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and similar chronic illnesses. Like these other diseases, addiction occurs as the result of biological, environmental, and behavioral factors. Combining these factors increases people’s chances of developing addiction, just like they increase the risk for other diseases.
For example, people are more likely to develop a drug addiction if their parents suffered from drug addiction. In fact, experts believe that certain genes increase the chance of drug abuse.
People Just Can’t Stop
People who struggle with addiction are unable to stop on their own. Similarly, those with other diseases can’t “quit” them.
It’s unfortunate that addiction never goes away. Since rehab can’t cure it, people have to learn how to control it in order to live normal lives. Rehab services help them identify triggers to avoid and teach them coping skills to prevent relapse. In addition, treatment gives them a better understanding of the disease.
Is addiction a disease? Yes, and it’s one that lingers for the rest of people’s lives. In order to learn how to manage it, people struggling with addiction have to enroll in and complete rehab programs. Then, they can use what they learned to keep the disease in check.
Is Addiction a Chronic Disease?
Experts label a chronic disease as one that people can control, but not cure. In most cases, addiction fits the bill as a chronic disease. However, visiting a rehab center doesn’t offer a cure. It simply educates them about the disorder and how to control it in order to stay sober.
Rehab statistics show that between 25 and 50 percent of people with a substance abuse problem have a chronic disease. In addition, addiction requires not only rehab, but also aftercare after rehab. Going to support groups and getting long-term aftercare ensures that people can avoid relapse.
We Can Help Women Like You Overcome Addiction
At The Willows at Red Oaks Recovery, we focus on providing substance abuse treatment to women. We know the answer to questions like, “Is addiction a disease?” Also, we want to educate you. A few of the services that you will receive at our facility include:
- Long-term treatment
- Residential care
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Trauma therapy
- Relationship counseling
- Family therapy
Count on The Willows at Red Oak Recovery to provide more information on understanding addiction. Call us at 855-773-0614 to take the first step.