A disease is a medical condition that prevents the body from functioning normally. There are many different types of diseases including infectious diseases, hereditary diseases, deficiency diseases and physiological diseases. According to the American Medical Association, addiction is categorized as a disease that can be caused by a combination of behavioral, psychological, biological and environmental factors. A lot of diseases are hereditary, which means that they are passed down genetically through family. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School states, “today we recognize addiction as a chronic disease that changes both brain structure and function. Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and diabetes impairs the pancreas, addiction hijacks the brain.”
How Is Addiction a Disease?
Drug and alcohol use often begins as voluntary; however, it can be categorized as an addiction when this behavior affects a person’s brain and behavior causing them to be unable to control the use of the substance. When an addiction forms, a person continues using the substance despite the harm it causes. This is because ‘addiction hijacks the brain’. People do not start out using a substance intending on developing an addiction to that substance, but they begin to lose control.
According to the Harvard Medical School study on addiction and the brain, addictive drugs provide a shortcut to the brain’s reward system by flooding the nucleus accumbens with dopamine (dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter and plays a role in how we feel pleasure). The hippocampus (where memory is stored) lays down memories of this rapid sense of satisfaction, and the amygdala creates a conditioned response to certain stimuli. All of this simply means that when using a substance, it sends a message to the brain that is received as pleasure, and the brain creates a memory of that pleasurable feeling that it wants to receive over and over again. In turn, the brain categorizes the use of this particular substance as pleasurable, making you want to keep using it. As you start developing a tolerance to the substance, you will need more and more of the substance to feel that same pleasure you once felt from a lower dose. This is how an addiction forms, and this is why it is categorized as a disease.
What Are the Different Ways to Treat Addiction?
Although addiction is a disease that affects the brain, it is something you can definitely recover from. It takes hard work, dedication and practice to completely overcome an addiction; however, it is possible through treatment, therapies and rehabilitation. There are many different methods and steps to treating an addiction, and it typically always starts with detoxification. Detox is where you rid your body of the harmful toxins that have been building up over time from long-term substance abuse, and it is important to receive medical supervision throughout this process. From there, it is important to go somewhere that will treat your addiction as your addiction and no one else’s. Everyone’s experience with addiction is different depending on various factors, and it is important to be treated with the therapies and the programs that recognize this and evaluate what methods may work for you specifically. A customized approach to treatment is the best way to recover. There are many different therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, group therapy, one-on-one therapy, family therapy mindfulness exercises, and more.
How See Purpose Treatment Will Help You Recover From Addiction
See Purpose Treatment Center is an incredible facility that helps you overcome addiction with a program built around you. If you are suffering from an addiction, it is important to start by evaluating your addiction and understanding the root of the addiction and where it comes from. From there, we offer various therapies and treatments that will help you to recover and sustain life-long sobriety. We offer inpatient rehabilitation in a luxury environment with expert professional staff who promote quality, evidence-based care. We offer 12 Step and non-12 Step alternative types of addiction treatment. We use evidence-based treatment modalities to truly focus on what works when you are facing addiction.
Come visit See Purpose Treatment Center today to receive a customized approach to treating your addiction from the comfort of our beautiful luxury facility. Our goal is to help you achieve lasting sobriety in the good hands of our dedicated and qualified staff.