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What Is Addiction: Definition of Drug Addiction & Alcoholism

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What-Is-AddictionWhat is addiction, anyway? Some of you may have heard that drug addiction and alcoholism is a disease, but few actually understand why. Let’s clear things up a little, shall we? Per The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), drug addiction and alcoholism are, in fact, a disease of the mind and body; not the result of a “moral dilemma,” as commonly reflected in the joined conscious of our society. So if you are waiting for that fateful day where you or your loved one just stops, you may be waiting a long time. The person who suffers from the disease of addiction usually cannot just stop, or if they do, they can’t stay stopped. One exception would be if they are just a substance abuser, and do not actually suffer from addiction. Check out this article so you can identify the difference: The Difference Between Heavy Drinking & Being An Alcoholic.

What Is Addiction?

Let’s define what addiction is, so we can better understand why it’s a disease in the first place. Drug addiction and alcoholism are defined as a primary, chronic disease, where psychosocial, genetic, and environmental attributes influence the development and manifestations. Addiction is progressive and fatal; it can be characterized by continuous or intermittent use, generally impairs control over drinking and drugging, and the individual continues abuse of alcohol and drugs despite consequences.

Still not convinced? Let’s further break down the question of what is addiction!

Primary: Meaning, the disease of addiction and alcoholism are separate from any other condition. This means that alcoholism or drug addiction is not a result of any other condition or symptom. Some addicts and alcoholics can still suffer from a dual diagnosis where another mental health disorder is present.

Disease: Simply put, the person did not choose to become an addict or alcoholic; it is an involuntary disability.

Progressive & Fatal: The progression of alcoholism and drug addiction continues on, even when the person stops using or drinking. They will never be able to safely drink or drug again. This progressive disease is fatal. The person is also preoccupied with drugs or alcohol and becomes obsessed with it. They can’t stop or stay stopped for long because they have what is considered a physical allergy, which drives cravings. Abstinence has been proven to be the best solution for the disease of addiction.

Denial: Is a huge part of the disease of addiction. It’s the only disease that tells the user that they do not have a disease. Denial is a defense mechanism designed by the addict and alcoholic to reduce the awareness and seriousness of having a drug abuse or alcohol dependence problem. Denial stops most addicts and alcoholics from getting treatment.

What Is Addiction Treatment?

It’s a hard fact to swallow to believe that you may be suffering from a disease because you can’t control your drinking or using. Becoming aware and taking action towards recovery is the first step towards living a life of freedom. People can and do recover from the disease of addiction, and there is hope. Do not let your denial stop you from being happy and living life to the fullest! There is hope outside of addiction; you just have to be willing to take the first step. Are you willing? Call now!

24/7 drug addiction and alcoholism treatment helpline: 1-800-439-5959.




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