The disease of addiction is a chronic brain illness that causes compulsive alcoholics and addicts to drink or take drugs despite the horrible consequences.
While no one takes their first drink thinking about the disease of alcoholism, if the disease has been prevalent in their family of origin, they should seriously think before picking up that drink. Because the disease of addiction is 50% hereditary, many often find themselves struggling years after that first drink.
Long ago, addiction was thought of as a compulsion and series of bad choices. Those suffering from addiction were considered weak, unmotivated, and poor-decision makers who had no willpower to stop the addictive behavior. It wasn’t until 2011 when a four-year study by the American Society of Addiction Medicine revealed a new definition of addiction. With the help of top addiction experts, addiction medicine doctors, neuroscientists, ASAM’s governing board, and experts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the definition was changed to a primary disease, meaning it is not caused by something else, such as a psychiatric or emotional disorder. In addition, addiction was discovered to be chronic, which means monitoring has to be maintained throughout one’s lifetime.
While monitoring the disease of addiction over a lifetime may sound daunting, it’s the responsibility of the addict to address it.
Meaning, once recovery is obtained, the newly sober must continue a life-long journey to work on their sobriety. This may include attending Alcoholics Anonymous recovery meetings, individual therapies, and taking prescribed medications.
The disease of addiction is not curable, but it is possible to live a joyous life free of the grips of alcohol and drugs. It takes complete honesty and responsibility, coupled with a little bit of courage, strength and hope.
Addiction Has A New Definition – It Is A Disease, Not Just Bad Choices Or Behaviors (2011, August 16). Retrieved April, 2017.