First of all is addiction a disease? Yes, it most definitely is a disease. While the general public refuses to treat addiction as a disease, doctors, psychiatrists and even researchers have gradually come to a consensus that it is a treatable disease.
What is Addiction?
To start with, as we said before, Addiction is a chronic and complex disease. This specific condition mostly affects the normal functioning of the brain and therefore that of the body. The consequences of such conditioning of the brain is severe damage to schools, neighbourhoods, workplaces, relationships and families. As symptoms, the most common include continued use knowing full well the serious consequences, failed attempts at quiting, withdrawal, loss of control and preoccupation with using.
Addiction is therefore a disease that can be treated or managed by trained professionals with the aid of peer support or family members as well as prevented like any other disease.
Is There a Difference Between Different Types of Substance Abuse and Addiction?
No while there is not much difference in the science of addiction regardless of the substance abuse – the severity can range from mild to severe. Alcohol and drug abuse is usually a mild substance issue. Anything categorized as mild usually has no more than three symptoms of addiction. Another defining characteristic of mild abuse is that the individual can change or stop their practice with ease before it goes to the stage of addiction.
In severe cases of addiction though, it often becomes physical, chronic and eventually a disease that needs long-term treatment and intensive care. As with any other serious ailment, those suffering from severe addiction tend to become sicker over time. They catch other diseases in the process and if a cure isn’t affected immediately they will eventually die.