Because of the increasing number of broken families and communities that are vulnerable to drug dealers and the violence that they bring, drug addiction has become a huge problem over the years. Stereotypical addicted individuals have been categorized as “dark” members of the society for decades but is slowly changing in the recent years. The more accepting perception of people on them is the strongest reason why addiction treatment options have become widely available.
- One thing that has not been changed for years is the notion that drug addiction is a brain disease. Addiction changes the normal functioning of the brain and its fundamental ways of coordinating systemic movements.
- The hierarchy of the structure of the brain changes with the worsening habit, sending a different message to the person about what he needs, wants, and priorities.
- Dopamine is released when taking drugs and it is what is responsible for to the cravings.
- Eventually, the brain’s normal functioning is altered more often resulting in a compulsive behavior.
Addiction is more of a disorder, not a disease.
Addiction is a disorder because it describes an altered physiologic brain function, which completely confirms that the “disease” definition is a wrong scientific statement. Remember, the diagnoses regarding mental health related to addiction are all classified as “disorders”, not as diseases.
Moreover, experts believe that addiction should be seen as a disorder because the addicted person causes harm due to a deviated behavior from what is considered a norm. While scientists were able to prove that addiction creates different thought patterns that somehow mold new values, the disorder also explains that it is characterized of a list of symptoms occurring together, unlike a medical disease.
Loss of appetite and episodes of irritability are examples of its symptoms or clues of what is happening inside the body. Definitely, it is not a proof of some complex chemical imbalances or infections within the body.
Addiction is a disorder with symptoms.
A disorder is different from a disease as explained above due to its manifestations. Other examples of symptoms relating to addiction disorders include deep emotional need for connection with others, desire to have another drug, impaired judgment, and intensified craving for a substance. A disease, on the other hand, can be measured, put to test, and be cured as the medical community defines it.
Blood tests are not required for the treatment of addiction.
Another big proof that addiction cannot be called a disease in the medical community is the fact that it does not require a blood test to prove that you have drug addiction or is into alcoholism. You can diagnose an alcoholic or an addict by just looking at them, assessing them, and labeling them as having the addictive disorder. One big step towards recovery from addiction is knowing and believing that addiction can be overcome. The traditional 12-step programs try to motivate the addicted individuals that what they are going through is not a forever disease unless they decide to make it last forever.