More than 1 in every 7 Americans over the age of 12 struggle with some type of substance abuse issue or drinking problem each year. A minority of those experiencing a substance abuse disorder receive treatment. While some may think that addiction is a choice, the more accepted scientifically supported position is that addiction is actually a disease. Rehab centers in Tampa FL base their treatment on the addiction as a disease model. But why is addiction a disease and how is it treated?
Sometimes, treatment can seem inaccessible or too costly. However, changes to medical insurance laws require insurance providers to offer coverage for substance abuse treatment.
Nearly half of all people who try to recover from a substance abuse issue, addiction, or drinking problem relapse, even after managing abstinence for a period of time. Florida addiction treatment centers help people gain and maintain sobriety by teaching patients about the disease of addiction and how it causes significant changes to your brain chemistry and to your brain’s pleasure and reward center.
Why is Addiction a Disease?
So, why is addiction a disease? Addiction is a chronic, incurable mental health disorder that systematically changes your brain. During addiction, your brain begins associating drugs and alcohol with pleasure, rewarding your drug and alcohol use by releasing excessive amounts of neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine are responsible for positive emotions, like happiness. When you stop using drugs and alcohol, your brain becomes depleted of these neurotransmitters. This can cause not only cravings but symptoms of depression and anxiety. Dual diagnosis treatment can assist with treating severe mental health symptoms that occur prior to or during your addiction.
Addiction can also cause you to compulsively use drugs and alcohol, even if you desire to stop or deal with severe consequences.
Addiction also can:
- Cause significant financial problems
- Ruin and damage relationships
- Cause major personality changes
- Decrease your overall wellbeing and standard of living
- Worsen underlying medical and mental health conditions
- Increase conflict and arguments with employers, family members or friends
How is Addiction Treated?
Because addiction is a chronic condition, there is no permanent cure. However, symptoms are manageable, and recovery is possible. Since addiction changes your brain chemistry, addiction therapies work to help you cope with cravings and triggers, teaching you to change negative thinking patterns.
One example of a negative thinking pattern is self-defeating thoughts. Self-defeating thoughts can cause you to think that using drugs and alcohol is acceptable because you are incapable of changing your behaviors.
Evidence-based and holistic treatments provide you with the skills, resources, and education you need to find healthy coping mechanisms. Even during recovery, you will inevitably experience conflict and stress. Finding a way to deal with those emotions is an important step during recovery.
Addiction causes you to rely on psychoactive substances to cope with things like negative feelings, trauma, or major life changes. Treatment helps you develop strategies, such as meditation and exercise, to alleviate distressful feelings.
Finding Help Today
If you find yourself wondering is addiction a disease, the short answer is yes. When you are ready to regain control of your life and begin recovering from addiction, find help from Tampa Recovery Centers.