CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY BEGINS WITH A WILLFUL ACT. ALMOST EVERYONE ADDICTION HOOKS WILL START BY ABUSING A SUBSTANCE VOLUNTARILY. EVEN SO, EXPERTS AGREE THAT IT’S A MEDICAL CONDITION. WHY IS ADDICTION A DISEASE; IS THERE A CURE?
UNDERSTANDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Drugs and alcohol affect the brain’s reward system. In the beginning, they make you feel good. They might even meet a need, like relaxing you or loosening you up. However, there comes the point in which substance abuse becomes compulsive, and you no longer have the option of choosing. At this point, addiction treatment services become a good option.
WHY IS ADDICTION A DISEASE?
The chemicals in the drugs change the way your brain operates. Frequently, they tie dopamine release to their presence. Besides that, they change the way you exercise good judgment and make decisions. At this point, taking that next drink or having the next fix isn’t voluntary any longer.
The medical profession believes addiction to be a chronic brain disorder that’s on par with diabetes and heart disease. It recognizes the combination of genetic predisposition, environmental conditioning, and behavioral elements as the causes. Just as untreated heart disease has far-reaching consequences, so does untreated addiction. Chemical dependency doesn’t get better on its own.
REHAB OFFERS THE PROFESSIONAL INTERVENTIONS THAT RETURN YOU TO SOBRIETY
For diabetes, you visit a doctor, take medications, and make lifestyle changes. Moreover, there’s frequent monitoring. For addiction, you have the option of enrolling in addiction therapy services, where you will learn to understand how the condition affects you and how to manage it.
Because it’s a chronic disease, there’s no cure. That said, addiction responds very well to treatment. Regaining lifelong sobriety is possible.
- Gender-specific tracks that focus on your unique needs
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction that helps you develop new coping skills for trigger events
- Cognitive behavioral therapy as a way of identifying dysfunctional elements in thinking, feeling, and acting
- Relationship counseling that focuses on communication, family roles, and overcoming possible codependency
- Experiential therapies such as art and music for self-expression and introspection
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOTHING?
Turning a blind eye to the condition is tempting. It’s much more comfortable to pretend that all’s well. Why is addiction a disease that you had to contract, anyway? Other people can have a few drinks and stop; why couldn’t you do the same?
During rehab, you can find out answers to some of these questions. You learn what makes you reach for a substance in the first place. Most importantly, you might discover that you have an underlying condition that’s fueling the substance abuse. However, you need to enter rehab first.
If you don’t do so, there’s a good chance that the condition will worsen. You’ll experience health problems. Over time, you might also have legal and relationship issues. In fact, untreated addiction could kill you.
Why is addiction a disease that affects you? Contact therapists at Pearl of the Sea Retreat to find out. Call 866-962-1907 today to schedule an intake interview.