Why is Addiction a Disease? | Call Bridges of Hope at 877-481-8803
Apr 13, 2019
There is serious debate as to why is addiction a disease. Addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors. In the formation of addictions there is never only one influence. If you think that you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, give us a call at 877-481-8803 NOW. At Bridges of Hope we are one of the top addiction centers in Indiana.
What is addiction?
Addiction is a disease that affects the body and brain. It involves compulsive behavior with the use of one or more substances regardless of health and social consequences.
Many people who dabble into drugs will do so at an early age. They may also be using drugs in an attempt to manage other symptoms of existing mental illness.
Initially the decision to use substances reflects a person’s choice of free will. However once that choice has been made the opportunity of free will of lost. After the addiction sets in behavioral aspects factor in and a person’s brain transforms. One of the most defining symptom of addiction is a loss of control.
If a person chooses to regain that control they will be faced with behavioral factors that could make matters difficult. Symptoms of withdrawal are horrendous and often result in a person using again to escape from the traumatizing experience of stopping their addiction.
The symptoms include, intense craving for the substance regardless of how long someone goes without it, changes in sleeping patterns, agitation, anxiety, depression, seizures, chest tightness, tremors/shakiness and death.
Environmental effects that can lead to addiction are, family dynamics, social groups, social media, and learned environments. Firstly, family dynamics is one of the strongest influences of addictive behavior. Influences such as parenting styles and level of supervision play an important role in the development of later substance abuse. Authoritarian and avoidant parenting, exposure to abuse and divorce are all associated with an increased likelihood of substance addictions.
The idea, “you are who your friends are” plays a pivotal role in who someone becomes. Someone’s friends in adolescence have a greater impact on them than they think. At an impressionable age it is important for a person to align themselves with people that have like minded aspirations and morals. If their friends are interested in experimenting with substances then that person will be more inclined to follow in their judgements. Social media also follows this thought process. If an adolescent sees substance use on various avenues of social media being portrayed as cool and advantageous then their substance use could result in abuse.
Learned or physical environments create a host of triggers for substance abuse. Going to “drinks” after work, having a “cold one” at home after a long day or other particular social hangouts are instances that can arise substance issues. It is conditional and making the switch from wanting a substance to needing a substance can happen very easily.
There are genetic risk factors that account for about half of the likelihood that an individual will develop addiction. Meaning, that if their family has a history of addiction, that person is likely to develop a similar addiction. This thought process suggests that brain chemistry, brain structure and genetic abnormalities that cause human behavior relate to the predisposition of addictions among relatives.
Predispositions of addiction are variable from one person to another because each person has a unique physiology and genetic makeup. Every person will have a different “enjoyment” during each addiction. This “enjoyment” is what makes some activities more addictive. The ability to temper these “enjoyments” with rational thoughts is a brain function that also varies from person to person.
Addiction is a Disease.
This argument provides reasonable discussion and rationale to suggest that addiction is a disease. People suffering from addiction although had a choice to “just say no” in the beginning no longer have the luxury of control over their choices. Their minds and bodies are controlled by the product of their addictions.
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, give us a call at 877-481-8803. At Bridges of Hope, we are here and ready to help.