Addiction Brain Disease
According to medical science, addiction can be a brain disease.
Addiction is an uncontrollable, compulsive, craving to seek more of a substance that an individual is addicted to. Eventually, an individual’s ability to function in society is destroyed. Careers can be lost, relationships destroyed, and that person can lose their self-esteem. Then, the road to recovery can be quite difficult. Some people are not fortunate enough to find help in time. Thus, addiction at any level requires proper treatment.
Addiction Changes the Brain’s Structure
Overtime, alcohol and illicit chemicals can change the brain’s structure. Moods are altered, memories are impaired, and emotional states change. The chemical changes in the brain can last long after a person seeks and receives treatment. This is because addiction results from the way the brain adapts (neuro adaptation) along the fact that new memory connections and circuitries are created. In short, the brain is restructured.
The Hijacked Brain
A brain that has been hijacked by drugs or alcohol impairs cognitive and emotional functioning. What is left are the typical habits that all addicts share: the compulsion to keep abusing their substance. Drugs stimulate the brain’s pleasure center and in time, a person’s sole purpose in life is to get their next fix. Alcohol has the same effect; this is why the majority of the biomedical community views drug addiction as a brain disease. Often, addiction is explained as behavioral and biological contradictions; when in reality, they are both complementary and integrative.
Recovery Is Possible
Even though there is almost universal recognition that addiction is a brain disease, there is a great consensus among clinicians that victims are not hapless. Help is both possible and available. Recovery starts when the addicted individual decides that it is time to get help. They have to arrive at a point where they want to get well. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be an excellent tool. Patients learn how their past thinking resulted in addictive behavior; thus, they will eventually get different results. Patients are also taught to realize certain elements in life that lead them back down the road to relapse.