Why is it important to call addiction a disease?
Addiction is something that a significant percentage of the population will struggle with during their lives. Addiction is also something that people need to understand because in many cases they may have a loved one facing this problem. There are many ways to help understand the underlying mechanism of addiction and how it can be treated.
One of the most helpful ways to understand addiction is to understand that it is a kind of disease. Doing so can help people who are struggling with this condition as well as those who are trying to get help for them.
Calling addiction a disease helps people to understand exactly how it occurs. Addiction is a biological process. This means that it is rooted in human biology and bodily functions. It is important for the person who is being treated; those who are assisting in the treatment; and those who are working with a loved one who is the addict, to fully understand this fact. It is of note for those involved with this condition to grasp this concept that as a biological condition, it is rooted in biological processes that can be hard to confront and therefore sometimes hard to change.
Calling addiction a disease also helps the addict and his or her support group realize that some people are more prone to addictions and addictive behavior than others. This realization can be highly useful. An addict can understand that biology and heredity, rather than simple, conscious and deliberate choice have helped shaped their behavior. They can realize that they may have a genetic predisposition to this condition, while others do not. This can also help the addict accept treatment as they would for any other biological condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
Calling addiction a disease can also help remove the stigma that is sometimes attached to this behavior. It may be sometimes seen as a human weakness rather than a medical condition. By helping people understand that addiction is a medical problem rather than just a mere moral failing, it helps people accept that addicts need and deserve treatment just as anyone else with a medical condition does. This can help with acceptance at large. When people are empowered to realize that this is like many other medical conditions, they may be more accepting of treatment and treatment centers being located in their communities. They may also be more inclined to help make sure that treatment for addiction is viewed just like that of other medical conditions. This can make it easier for an addict to get insurance that will cover the cost of medical treatment.
This understanding can also help forge new treatment methods. Researchers who understand that addiction has medical roots can help figure out the best way to find effective medical treatments. Development of newer and better treatments is better for all concerned and involved in the treatment of this disease. Its treatment and prevention can help reduce the impact in the community. Addicts who are offered effective help are far less likely to relapse and thus engage in potentially dangerous behaviors to themselves, close relatives and other community members. Addicts who have effective help for this biological condition are also far more likely to resume lives that are free of addiction and thus make the best possible contribution they can to their communities. All human potential should be utilized. If you have any further questions, contact your local treatment center.