why addiction can be classified as a disease

The disease of addiction is a brain disorder characterized by its chronic and relapsing nature that causes people to compulsively seek the substance they typically use, despite knowing that using the substance will have negative consequences. Over time, the brain changes due to substance abuse and interferes with the individual’s ability to control their impulses.

Substance abuse causes negative changes within the brain’s circuitry and chemical systems. This is when and where addiction begins to take place. Through brain imaging studies, the brains of individuals who are addicted to drugs show physical changes in areas of memory, judgment, learning, decision making, and behavior control. Because these are actual physical changes to the brain, simply deciding to stop cannot undo the disease. The consequences to the brain resulting from these changes can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgement
  • Difficulty learning
  • Poor decision making skills
  • Impulsive behavior

The disease of addiction is very similar to other chronic diseases, in that relapse is a genuine possibility. Diabetes, asthma, and heart disease are examples of other ailments that can be managed despite self destructive impulses, just as the disease of addiction can be managed. A person with diabetes may crave sweets for a lifetime, but through proper treatment can learn to overcome those impulses. Similarly, someone with the disease of addiction can learn to overcome his or her impulse to use drugs or alcohol through addiction treatment programs in FL.

Treatment for the Disease of Addiction

Addiction is best treated through a continuum of care, starting with drug and alcohol detox in FL and progressing into structured rehabilitation employing an array of behavioral therapies. After rehabilitation, an essential component to recovery is aftercare, which provides ongoing support for lifelong sobriety. For patients with co-occurring disorders, treatment for the disease of addiction must entail therapies and medications developed to heal the mind, body, and spirit with particular attention paid to the treatment of accompanying mental illness.

  • Residential or intensive outpatient program
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Specialized substance abuse treatment
  • Dual diagnosis treatment 
  • Addiction aftercare programs

At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addition and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.

The supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. We’re deeply committed to ensuring your long-term recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier and happier future. There is no better time than now, and we’re always available to speak with you. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.


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