Is Addiction A Disease?

There have been many arguments concerning whether or not addiction is a disease. Some people say that there is so much biological re-wiring that occurs over the duration of addiction and “disease-like” qualities to addiction that it can only be described as a disease. Others say that it have more to do with weak character morale rather than a medical illness. In any case it is more important to know the factors that do make a person more susceptible to addiction. Understanding these factors can help individuals be honest with themselves about their addiction and possibly deter individuals from taking part in potentially addictive behaviors.

How Addiction Is Like A Disease

When a person goes in for their yearly physical examination, they are often required to fill out documentation that required family history of diseases. That is because doctors understand that if a disease is prominent in family history then it is likely to be passed down genetically. This is much like addiction. If addiction shows to be common in the family then that means that individuals are more susceptible to addiction. They are not doomed to certain addiction, but they are more at risk.

There is an initial decision that is made to start using a substance. But no matter how fast the use of a substance becomes an addiction, once a person is addicted it is not a matter of personal strength or weakness that keeps a person addicted. By treating addiction as a disease, then you are more likely to seek medical help that results in solid recovery rather than trying to control your own use. 

The Genetic Influence On Addiction

Some believe that addictive tendencies are not genetic, but that would be counterproductive to evolution. The reason we like the kind of food we like is due to addictive tendencies from our genetics. However, that does not mean that if your parents were addicted to sweets, that you will automatically feel a need to eat sweets. What it does mean is that there are those that have a greater potential to have addictive qualities.

The American Psychiatric Association said that addiction is blamed 50% on genetics and 50% poorly developed coping skills. This means that if your parents have addictive tendencies, then you were possibly conditioned at an early age to cope with hardships through substance abuse. This situation is not true for all those with parents that are addicts. Many people come from families that struggle with addiction and manage to live happy and healthy lives.  

How To Minimize Addiction Potential

If you come from a family of addicts to any extreme, be honest with yourself about the genetic potential that you have to become addicted to a substance. Focus on the aspect of addiction that you can control in your coping skills. Identify the areas of your life that are difficult for you to cope with and seek help on how to cope with the things in a healthy manner.

If you are an addict and you have children, be honest with yourself about the potential your children have to become addicted to substances in the future. Work with them fervently on developing healthy coping skills so that they are prepared throughout their lives to deal with the trials of life.

If you are addicted to a substance and are ready to get help, it is important to recognize your addiction as a disease and seek medical attention to heal from it. At we can help find the right treatment facility to help with your addiction. All we need is some information about your addiction and any preferences that you have about your future drug-rehab facility.

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