Is addiction a disease?

Addiction is a difficult word to define, but it is an important topic because of how often it has the potential to damage individual and their loved ones. Addiction can be a variety of different things; however, the two most common forms of addiction are alcohol and drug abuse which are usually classified as substance addictions. If someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they will continuously use despite the negative consequences. This could lead to severe legal problems and health problems like liver disease or cancer from excessive drinking or smoking. In this piece, we will discuss whether addiction is a disease and how it affects the individual.

Reasons Why Addiction is a Disease

When someone has a disease, it is a condition that one cannot escape. They cannot “choose” not to have the illness. People do not choose to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. Therefore it is a disease. If someone does not have a genetic predisposition to addiction and is not using drugs or alcohol as prescribed by a doctor, they are likely to become addicted to the substance. In this way, addiction is a disease because it is out of the person’s control. The reasons why addiction is a disease are outlined below.

Addiction is Out of the Individual’s Control

The individual is unable to control their addiction. The opportunity to use drugs and alcohol as much as they want has been taken away, as with any other case of addiction. They will be on a short leash, and they depend on others for the substances necessary to maintain the addiction, making it difficult for them to function in their daily lives. The individual will experience a loss of personal responsibility, leading to depression and may even lead to psychosis within the addicted person.

Addiction is Affected by Genetic Traits

Genetic factors impact addiction so that it is a debilitating disease. Those with addictive personalities are more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol than other people. For example, if they were given a prescription painkiller after surgery, they are likely to become addicted if they do not have the necessary willpower.

Once an Individual is Addicted, it is Difficult to Quit

It is not easy to quit drugs or alcohol after becoming addicted. It can be extremely difficult. The brain has become accustomed to the substance and will need time to readjust once the individual stops drinking or taking drugs. There is a high chance that the person will relapse during this time, especially if they do not have a strong support network. When they try to give up, the individual will experience many negative side effects, including depression and anxiety.

There is a High Risk of Danger to the Individual

Addiction is a disease that can cause serious health problems. For example, it increases the risk of smoking-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease. It also puts one at risk for substance abuse disorders that can seriously damage the brain and even be fatal. The individual is at risk of contracting an STD or contracting a disease from another person addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Addiction is a Major Cause of Poverty

If someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, they do not have the money to support themselves and their drug habit. They will lose their job and be unable to find work again, likely leading them into more poverty. Addiction can also put one at risk for committing crimes like theft, which may lead to jail time. Without a job, they will not be able to pay their legal fees and will end up in poverty anyway.

There is a Very High Risk for Addiction if the Individual Tries the Substance

If an individual tries a drug or alcohol once, they have a very high chance of developing an addiction to it. This is because the brain is not in a state where it can tell the individual that they are experiencing a negative side effect, so they will have to experience it several times before they realize their mistake. In conclusion, addiction is a debilitating disease out of the individual’s control. The person will lose their responsibility and be controlled by drugs or alcohol. Once they become addicted, they are most likely not able to quit independently, which can lead to medical problems and legal problems. Also, there is the likelihood that they will commit crimes and lose their job, causing more poverty for the individual themselves. To talk to our counselors, call 302-842-2390.