VIEWING ADDICTION AS A CHRONIC MENTAL ILLNESS
- January 30, 2019
At some point in your life, you have probably become familiar with the common stigmas about drug addiction. Perhaps you have heard people refer to drug addicts and alcoholics as negligent, irresponsible, or completely immoral individuals who choose to use these toxic substances. On a similar note, some people may label addicts as people with criminal intent and deem them untrustworthy and dangerous. To a point, you can understand where these full-blown ideas took root, as a large portion of drug activity can result in violent accidents, assault, and theft. However, one particular stigma about addiction is absolutely not true: the matter of choice. Medical professionals have continued to work hard to ensure drug addiction and alcoholism are labeled as “chronic mental illnesses,” not lifestyle choices. Let’s take a closer look and find out some more information.
The Epidemic of Addiction
In a recent paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, doctors recently shed light on the severity of addiction in our country. Dr. Nitan S. Damle (president of the American College of Physicians) explains how opioid and heroin-related overdoses and resulting deaths have sparked this major epidemic in our country. However, Dr. Damle did emphasize how substance use disorders fall into the same category as diabetes and hypertension: all of these are easily treatable chronic conditions.
The Commonality of Substance Use
Unfortunately, substance use disorders are very common in our country. According to the ACP paper, though, this mental problem can trigger a variety of social issues. Let’s also not forget that treatment access can be severely limited and/or expensive.
So, how are doctors supposed to help? According to the ACP, physicians should receive an education about substance use disorders and treatment methods, including drug monitoring systems for opioids and other potentially addictive medications. In direct response to the Opioid Crisis, ACP recommends that doctors should keep the lifesaving drug naloxone (designed to reverse opioid overdoses) on hand in case of an emergency.
Seeking Treatment for Drug Abuse or Addiction
As much as we do not like to admit it, drug addiction and alcoholism are not going anywhere anytime soon, but the good news is that you can easily find a way to overcome these illnesses. However, that is exactly what we always have to keep in mind: addiction is and always will be a mental problem.
If you, a friend, or loved one is suffering from a severe case of drug abuse or addiction, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you separate yourself from these substances. The time to take back control of your life is now.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn about how you can overcome your attachment to drugs today.