Addiction is a Disease: Not a lack of willpower!
1. A disordered or incorrectly functioning
organ, part, structure, or system of the
body resulting from the effect of genetic
or developmental errors, infection, poisons,
nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity,
or unfavorable environmental factors; illness;
2. A pathological condition of a part, organ,
or system of an organism resulting from
various causes, such as infection, genetic
defect, or environmental stress, and
characterized by an identifiable group of
signs or symptoms.
3. A condition or tendency, as of society,
regarded as abnormal and harmful.
"They chose to start drinking and using
drugs! Now they need to choose to stop!
They just don't want to!"
That's probably the most common comment
I hear from those uneducated about this
disease. I've heard this from licensed
professional health care providers, politicians,
hairdressers, university professors, school teachers, ministers, police officers, and even the occasional "rocket scientist".
Is this REALLY a disease someone has chosen?
I'll give you the first sentence above. They DID choose to "try" drugs or alcohol. But did they choose to become addicted? I certainly didn’t. The development of addiction(s) is a genetically based and environmentally induced (stress, poor coping skills, and a mood altering chemical or activity that relieves the stress). The changes take place over a period of time (sometimes fast...sometimes slow) and aren’t usually recognized until things become “really bad”.
Follow the links to the right for more information regarding the disease process.
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The Impact of Addiction Can Be Far Reaching
Substance Abuse Costs Our Nation More than $484 Billion per Year
Diabetes costs society $131.7 billion annually
Cancer costs society $171.6 billion annually
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