What causes one person to develop a drug addiction while another one doesn’t? Is it a difference in the individual’s’ moral fiber? Does one person have more willpower than the other? Or is addiction a disease as therapists and health experts now suggest?
The Disease Model of Addiction
Medical professionals now understand that addiction is a primary disease that affects the brain. This designation suggests that it can happen suddenly and doesn’t require the presence of a prior condition. As a primary illness, it could affect anyone. The American Society of Addiction Medicine pinpoints the location of the disease as being the brain’s reward center.
This part of the brain releases neurotransmitters that make you feel good and happy. Drugs alter this process to release more of them. When there’s a sudden glut in your system, you might feel euphoric. Because this process only lasts a short time, you need more drugs to keep things going.
While this cycle continues, the chemicals in the drugs rewrite the brain’s chemistry. This leads to the reward center’s inability to release specific neurotransmitters without the drugs in your system.
How is Addiction a Disease if it Comes and Goes?
What you’re probably thinking of are relapse and recovery. Mental health experts agree that dependence on a substance is a chronic illness. This classification puts it on par with asthma or heart disease. There isn’t a cure, but it’s possible to treat the condition.
Doing so, however, results in the possibility of relapse. For a person with asthma, it means that a previously controlled condition may still cause an asthma attack. For someone with a substance abuse problem, it refers to the possibility of using after drug addiction treatment. The good news — for both — is the fact that continuing with remission is possible.
Overcome a Drug Problem with Rehab at The Hills Outpatient Treatment Center
So, is addiction a disease? Yes, it is. However, this means that there’s also the possibility for treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may do very well with outpatient drug rehab.
Outpatient program participants benefit from treatment at a professional facility. At night, they go home and sleep in their own beds. It’s an affordable alternative to an inpatient stay. Examples of treatment options include:
- Individual talk therapy that enables you to discuss your usage patterns with a professional therapist
- Group therapy that provides a nurturing environment for learning from others who also undergo recovery
- Family therapy, which offers the opportunity to open communication with others and rebuild bridges
- Relapse prevention strategies to prepare you for living without giving in to the temptation to use again
- Aftercare programs that continue along these same lines to ensure that you transition well into your home and professional setting
Getting help for a substance abuse problem today is possible. You don’t have to let a drug problem control your life any longer. At The Hills Outpatient Treatment Center, therapists work with people just like you to help you get your life back. Call 866-777-0427 today.