The debate about whether drug abuse is a choice or a disease has been ongoing for decades. The stigma attached to that debate, and to addiction itself, often keeps people from getting help for themselves or their loved ones. That shouldn’t be the case.
At GH Recovery Solutions we accept the findings listed in the DSMV, a manual that describes disorders and conditions for diagnostic purposes, that conclude addiction is a disease and it can be treated.
The American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, classify addiction as a chronic and an often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive use of mind or mood-altering substances despite harmful consequences to the suffering individual and to those around them.
Scientists have yet to fully explain the physical causes of addiction. Addicts tend to have desensitized reward circuits in the brain, higher conditioned responses to specific substances and lowered decision making and self-regulation functions in respective brain regions.
Now that scientists have identified specific regions of the brain that are impacted by addiction, they are able to conduct more focused research on addiction causes and addiction prevention.
Taking that first drink or using a drug for the first time, is a choice. What ensues, is an affected brain can remove the ability to choose whether to continue or stop. At that point, the use of alcohol or drugs ceases to be a choice and becomes a brain disease.
It’s somewhat akin to a cigarette smoker who develops lung cancer or an unhealthy eater who develops diabetes. Yes, the original choices to smoke and eat poorly may have led to the condition, but that doesn’t mean we don’t treat that condition.
GH Recovery Solutions can help individuals struggling with addiction manage their condition, and avoid relapses. We allow you to build a new life focused on sobriety and recovery by providing peer group support and help from expert professionals in the field. You’ll find inspiration to launch the recovery process and make sobriety a way of life.
Please contact GH Recovery Solutions today for yourself or a loved one seeking long term recovery from addiction. Call us at (888) 345-2025. We are available to you 24/7!
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017.
Almost 74 percent of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 also battled with an alcohol use disorder.
Nearly 38 percent of adults battled an illicit drug use disorder in 2017.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the financial costs of substance abuse exceed $600 billion annually when healthcare, crime, incarceration, and lost productivity are all factored in.
Drug addiction is the leading cause of youth crime.
Drug addiction is the leading factor in youth suicide.
One out of every five students aged 12-17 whose average grades are “D” or lower have used marijuana within the past month.
Students who started drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to abuse or become dependent on alcohol than those who waited until they were 21.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine reports that, compared to men, women are more likely to be prescribed opioid painkillers, be given higher doses, use opioids for a longer period of time and become dependent more quickly.
Nearly 50,000 Americans died because of prescription opioid overdoses in 2016.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that people with substance abuse disorders also frequently struggle with mental illness, and vice versa.
Nearly 30 percent of people with a mental illness also have a substance abuse problem.
More than 36 percent of individuals with an alcohol addiction have a mental illness.
People addicted to drugs are at twice the risk of developing depression.
Bipolar disorder patients are five times more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs.
Alcohol and drug abuse doubles the risk of dementia.
The American Heart Association calls cocaine the “perfect heart attack drug.”
Many alcoholics suffer from pancreatitis, and one-third of those will develop Type II diabetes.
The FADAA estimates that 12 percent of American children under the age of 18 live with a parent who has abused alcohol or drugs within the past year.
In some states, parental substance abuse accounted for more than 60 percent of children removed from their homes and placed in foster care system.
Children of parents who drink will themselves become drinkers 82 percent of the time.
The National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence found that children with parents who are substance abusers are three times as likely to be abused and four times as likely to be neglected as other children.
Two-thirds of those in drug treatment were abused or neglected as children.
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