Is addiction a disease? It’s a controversial question. Some experts believe that addiction falls into the category of disease, while others don’t think that it meets the criteria. Based on the traditional view, however, it’s a disease. This view has been around since America’s founding fathers.
Is Addiction a Disease? The Start of Modern-Day Belief
In the 21st century, both the public and medical communities view addiction as a brain disease. However, when did this way of thinking actually start? According to history, the basic idea that addiction is a disease started with Benjamin Rush.
Rush was one of the founding fathers of the United States. Many people also consider him the father of psychiatry. In 1784, he published an essay that took a look at alcohol and the human mind and body. He took an unprecedented stance that drinkers are only partially responsible when they consume too much alcohol.
While his findings weren’t based on scientific concepts, they paved the way for modern views on addiction. The idea that people who struggle with addiction are sinners with no self-control isn’t practical. Instead, the modern view is that addiction is a problem that drug addiction treatment can help overcome. It isn’t a lifestyle choice, but a condition that people can treat just like other diseases.
The Difference Between Addiction and Other Diseases
Is addiction a disease? It depends on who people ask, but most agree that it is. However, there’s a major difference between addiction and most other diseases.
Unlike others, most people have a choice if they start using substances in the first place. They don’t simply develop an addiction without first choosing to use drugs. Some cases exist in which people have to take drugs against their will. However, these cases are rare.
As a result, addiction is one of the few diseases that people actually can avoid. Once they repeatedly take drugs, however, addiction robs them of their ability to choose.
Like other diseases, experts believe that genetics play a role in developing an addiction. People whose families struggle with it are more likely to develop it themselves. However, they still have to choose to use substances. They don’t just wake up one day with an addiction to drugs.
We Can Help You Overcome Addiction
Now you know the answer to the question, “Is addiction a disease?” For people who already struggle with addiction, what matters is that they get help to overcome it. At Melrose Recovery Group, we help people just like you beat addiction with programs such as:
- Residential treatment
- Intensive outpatient program
- Music therapy
- Physical fitness therapy
- Nutrition therapy
- Adventure therapy
Don’t let your addiction run your life. Fight back with help from trained experts. Reach out to us today at 866-271-3438 to beat addiction once and for all.