There was a time when addiction was viewed as a moral failing or a lack of willpower. Many believed that if someone wanted to stop using drugs and alcohol, they could just stop. Over time, researchers and society have realized that addiction is much more complex. Addiction is a chronic disease that changes the person abusing drugs and alcohol. Active addiction changes the individual and isolates them from nearly everything but the drugs. Watching someone you love struggle with addiction is heartbreaking and can leave you feeling helpless. Likewise, finding yourself addicted to drugs and alcohol is a devastating proposition. Many will find themselves wanting to stop and being unable. Drugs and alcohol create a dependence in your body and mind that is hard but not impossible to overcome. At Evolve Indy, we understand that addiction is a disease, and we know how to help you heal.
What Is Addiction?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and compulsive use, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. No one intends on becoming addicted when they first start using a drug. However, regular drug use can lead to addiction. Addiction is a disease of isolation that affects mind, body, and spirit. When you are active in addiction, getting more drugs and using them becomes your primary focus. This is true even if you manage to be a “functional alcoholic” or a “functioning addict.” You may be holding down a job and fulfilling family obligations, but you are likely managing your schedule to make sure you can still use drugs or alcohol.
Addiction is considered a disease because the drugs impact how you think, how you act, and how your body functions. You only have to look back at the decisions and choices you have made in addition to see that it is a disease.
Why Is Addiction Considered a Disease?
Addiction can be viewed through a biopsychosocial model, which allows you to see how different factors come together to create the perfect storm for the disease. While they continue to learn more, researchers have found that there is a genetic component to addiction. Having family members who have suffered from addiction makes you more susceptible to it. Additionally, having a co-occurring mental health disorder can make you more likely to use drugs and become addicted. Finally, if drug and alcohol use is normalized within your life and you lack coping skills, you are more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Addiction is considered a disease because it changes how the brain and the body work. Over time your brain rewires pathways so that it makes it harder to function when you stop using drugs and alcohol. It is these changes that cause you to have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using drugs and alcohol.
How Evolve Indy Can Help You or Your Loved One Today
At Evolve Indy, we understand the nuances of addiction. Our treatment team will partner with you to meet you where you are and create an individualized plan to put you on the road to recovery. Your treatment will address the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of your addiction. We have programs to meet your needs that will set you up for long-term sobriety. We care about your success in recovery. We have a wide variety of programs that blend traditional and non-traditional therapies to treat addiction. Our programs range from residential to outpatient, and we will work with you to find the best fit for you. Contact us today to see how we can best support you in your journey to sobriety.