Is addiction a disease? Put simply, the answer is yes. There are many factors that can contribute to the development of an addiction. Ultimately, however, addiction is a disease, and recovery has to include professional and medical support.
The Brain Physically Changes Because of Addiction
One of the reasons that addiction is a disease is because of the way that it changes the brain. If the liver changes because of liver disease, or the brain changes because of cancer, we classify those changes as a disease. Once the change happens, medical care is a necessity. The same can is true of addiction.
Using certain addictive substances can flood the brain with chemicals. Receptors in the brain register an increase of chemicals like dopamine, and they begin to adjust. Over time, the brain requires more and more of these chemicals. If the level of dopamine drops, individuals start to feel bad.
This isn’t all in your head. Addiction is physical, even if there are other factors at play as well. Physical changes in the brain reveal that to be true.
Addiction Can be Genetic
If multiple women in the same family have breast cancer, then the risk factor for other female family members increases. The same thing happens with addiction. Ample evidence suggests that there’s a genetic component to addiction.
What this means is that if you have a certain genetic makeup, you’re more likely to develop an addiction to a substance. This helps explain why some people develop heroin addictions after one use and others won’t after weeks or months of use. It also helps explain why addiction so often runs in families.
Relapse is a Common Issue Among Medical Diseases
Addiction has very little to do with willpower or the desire to be sober. You can’t just decide to heal yourself if you have an addiction. Some people point to relapse as a choice, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Relapse is very common among all types of disease. People may receive treatment for high blood pressure, cancer or diabetes, but relapse is still common. It takes ongoing medical care, medication and commitment to recovery. Even then, relapse can still happen. The situation is very similar when it comes to addiction.
Is Addiction a Disease? Yes — But It is Treatable
Is addiction a disease that’s ruining your life? Addiction treatment programs at The Dunes of East Hampton can pave the way to your recovery. Customized treatment in a luxury setting will make recovery easier and more enjoyable. Residents can expect:
- Dual diagnosis support
- World-class amenities
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Luxurious accommodation
- Holistic and evidence-based treatment methods
Addiction may be a disease, but help is available. At The Dunes of East Hampton in New York, our programs help you overcome dependence and start living your life. Call 877-818-3359 to start your next chapter of health, happiness, and fulfillment.