Ask three different people what they think substance abuse might be, and you’ll probably end up with three different answers. However, did you know that there’s an actual addiction definition? Scientists and therapists developed an understanding that helps chart a course when treating the condition. Interestingly, this definition applies across gender and socioeconomic lines.
The Addiction Definition: What It Isn’t
Struggling with a substance abuse problem isn’t a sign of lacking morals. It’s also not something that happens because of undeveloped willpower. Picking yourself up by the bootstraps will be as effective as trying to cure diabetes by yourself: it simply doesn’t work.
Understanding the Addiction Definition
Clinical researchers define addiction as a chronic disease. There’s no cure, only treatment. It affects how the brain processes reward, memory, and motivation. Studies show that some drugs rewrite brain chemistry to make the organ dependent on the substance for specific functions.
The disease has the power to affect a person’s life in all areas, including relationships, religion, and the pursuit of success. Addiction results in a change of perception, which differentiates the person struggling with the disease from others. Before long, a breakdown in communication ends interactions, and the sufferer withdraws from contact. The substance of choice now becomes the sole focus of life.
No matter how harmful the consequences, the individual will continue seeking out the drug. Fortunately, there’s hope. Rehab programs that focus on recovery and future relapse prevention can be critical components to controlling the condition. If left untreated, the disease will progress rapidly, which leads to severe physical and mental problems. In some cases, addiction can even have a deadly outcome.
Where to Get Professional Addiction Help
The best rehab facilities offer clients substance abuse programs that addresses addiction from multiple angles. Some effective approaches include:
- Detoxification and medical care that helps program participants safely break their physical addiction
- Residential treatment as well as outpatient program options for added treatment flexibility
- Individual and group therapy sessions, which allow clients to explore the causes of their addictions and possible solutions
- Forward-looking relapse prevention strategies that can include 12-Step meetings and peer-group strengthening
Even though the addiction definition applies across the board, comprehensive treatment options don’t. Unlike other rehabilitation centers, Ashley Addiction Treatment offers all of the above, along with holistic and gender-path driven therapy options. If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem today, call 866-313-6307 to learn more about our Primary Program.