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Unfortunately, so many people think of drug use and alcohol use as a moral failing. So many people think of addiction as simply not having strong enough will power. Recently, there has been a shift in the way we as a society think about addiction. In all reality, addiction is not a choice. Addiction is a disease. Research and studies are now here to prove this.

How is addiction defined?

Addiction can be defined as a chronic disease of the brain that causes compulsive behavior in spite of harmful consequences of that behavior. The alcoholic or addict will see that using alcohol or drugs is harmful. However, they will be unable to stop on their own.

Can drugs and alcohol change the brain?

Yes. Each drug can disrupt the system in the brain that is in charge of rewards. It can also influence the areas of the brain that are in charge of learning, controlling behavior, making decisions, and remembering.

Misconceptions about addiction and choice

There is a false thought that an addicted person is making a conscious choice to continue drug use or alcohol use. This is simply not the case. Although choice is involved, when a person has addiction, it is so much more difficult for them to make the right choice. Addicted individuals believe they truly need the substance in question, and in many cases, they have become physically dependent, and that is actually true.

Why is treatment effective?

Rehabilitation can be incredibly effective for individuals who are addicted to substances. Attending a rehabilitation program at a facility is an essential first step in recovery. Treatment at these types of facilities can involve group and individual counseling sessions, medication for medical detox, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

If you or someone you love is having issues with drug or alcohol addiction, it is imperative that you get the help that you deserve. Different recovery programs will be more effective for different people. Rehabilitation facilities are always a great option for addicts and alcoholics who wish to pursue recovery. Whichever road you take, the important thing is that you pursue a path towards recovery.