For decades, the debate has raged over the question of whether or not addictions are diseases. Historically, experts would typically classify most addictions as a type of mental or psychological disorder, many times a behavioral disorder. The problem with this position is it fails to consider several factors found in what many experts agree are actual diseases. Therefore, answering the question is addiction a disease is a complicated endeavor. So, let’s investigate.
Is Addiction a Disease?
To correctly answer this question, it’s vital first to understand that most medical governing bodies now classify addictions as diseases. That includes the two most prominent organizations, the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Classification matters because of the impact it has on insurance and the ways treatment professionals can deliver treatment.
To support an addiction theory such as alcoholism a disease, one only needs to understand what aspects of the addiction qualify it as a disease. Here are the criteria the medical community often uses to answer this fundamental question:
- There are behavioral, environmental and biological forces at work
- Addictions have no cure, can only be arrested
- The addiction affects the way the mind and body function
- There could be a genetic component to the addiction
- Addictions are progressive in nature
The bottom line is addictions will typically progress until treated and are always subject to return without notice.
Answering questions like is addiction a disease or, more specifically, is alcoholism a disease is essential. However, it’s far more important to not worry about classification in favor of getting on to treating addiction.
Time has proven which treatment formulas work best. For example, in many cases, the first step in the treatment process is detoxification. Individuals need the opportunity to get past withdrawal and cravings in order to be able to respond to therapy. In an individual therapy program Kansas offers such as Sunflower Wellness Retreat, we like our clients to go through a holistic detox process.
Once the detox process is complete, the client should be able to open up about what’s driving their addiction. The hope is we can work with the client to find the driving forces of their addiction, then help them to develop better coping skills. The coping skills should target the client’s triggers, while also serving as a line of defense against relapses.
More About Sunflower Wellness Retreat
As a modern drug and alcohol addiction treatment provider, we have had a great deal of success. Our success comes from a modern approach to treatment, which involves evidence-based treatment modalities we integrate with holistic treatment options. The combination of these two approaches often produces the best possible results. Here are a few choices from our menu of treatment options:
- Residential treatment, including extended care
- Outpatient and intensive outpatient options
- Dual diagnosis treatment with a focus on the addiction issue
- Mental health treatment
- Family therapy
If you have concerns about a possible addiction, you shouldn’t really worry about things like is addiction a disease. Whether it is or not doesn’t affect the fact you need help. At Sunflower Wellness Retreat, we can give you that help. For more information about our approach to addiction treatment, please give us a call at 855.730.8825.