WHY SOME PEOPLE SAY ADDICTION IS NOT A DISEASE

WHY SOME PEOPLE SAY ADDICTION IS NOT A DISEASE

Some people think addiction cannot be a disease because it is caused by the individual's choice to use drugs or alcohol. While the first use (or early-stage use) maybe by choice, once the brain has been changed by addiction, most experts believe that the person loses control of their behavior.

The choice does not determine whether something is a disease. Heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer involve personal choices like diet, exercise, sun exposure, etc. A disease is what happens in the body as a result of those choices.

Others argue that addiction is not a disease because some people with addiction get better without treatment. People with a mild substance use disorder may recover with little or no treatment. People with the most serious form of addiction usually need intensive treatment followed by lifelong management of the disease. However, some people with severe addiction stop drinking or using drugs without treatment, usually after experiencing a serious family, social, occupational, physical, or spiritual crisis. Others achieve sobriety by attending self-help (12-step or AA) meetings without receiving much, if any, professional treatment. Because we do not understand why some people are able to stop on their own or through self-help meetings at certain points in their life, people with addiction should always seek treatment.

Cravings are a normal part of addiction recovery. No matter whether you haven't used in months or you just stopped using this week, you're likely to experience an urge to use at some point.

Urges are relentless, finding you at your weakest point and trying to convince you that you don't really want the change you've worked so hard to accomplish. Drug cravings can quickly lead to a relapse if not handled appropriately.

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