December 16, 2017

Why Addiction Is A Serious Disease That Needs To Be Treated As Such

For people all over the world, there are many health issues to worry about. All sorts of illness and disease plague the earth every day. Everyone knows of the common diseases that wreck lives and provide hard times for those involved. However, there is one subject that seems a little bit blurry at times. There’s often a debate as to whether or not it should be classified as a disease or not. The subject in question is addiction. Drug addiction, alcohol addiction, you name it. Addiction is something that affects many people of both genders on a global basis. In Canada alone, 20% of people suffer from either a mental health or addiction problem. It’s a huge issue, yet some people still believe it isn’t a disease.

There are sections of the public that don’t sympathise with addicts, they see addiction as a ‘choice’. They believe people choose to be addicted to things and drink alcohol/do drugs because they like it. These are often the same people who think it’s easy for someone to quit and become sober. What they fail to recognise is that addiction is not a choice. Addiction is a serious disease that affects the mind and brain of those suffering. In the beginning, yes, someone chooses to have that first drink or smoke. But, they do not choose to become addicted to these substances. There are chemicals in certain things that have a massive impact on the brain. For some people, it’s really easy to get addicted to things because of the mental state they’re in. Someone who is depressed is always looking for ways to cheer themselves up. When they drink or do drugs, they feel happier and a sense of freedom for once. It makes them more confident and they like how they feel. As a result, their brain makes them want to feel this way at all times. When they aren’t intoxicated, the feeling of depression gets amplified. Substance abuse becomes something they feel like they need in their life. Of course, this dependency ends up leading to addiction.

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(Image via pixabay https://goo.gl/cLNFe3)

It’s vital we recognise addiction as a disease because it will change the way people view it. They stop viewing addicts as weak people who choose to be addicted to harmful things. Instead, people can see them for what they are; people with a disease who need help. Thankfully, there are many more ways for addicts to seek help than there used to be. We now have alcohol treatment centres for women, to help those suffering from alcohol addiction. Likewise, there are centres like this for men too. Sometimes it’s better to treat genders separately because they’re affected differently by addiction. Men are more likely to become addicted, whereas women are likely to suffer more severe mental trauma from their addiction.

We must treat addiction like any other disease on this planet. Instead of turning away from addicts, we need to start sympathising with them. It’s not their fault they’ve become addicted to alcohol etc. If you know someone with an alcohol problem, look at trying to help them instead of distancing yourself from them. Addiction can kill, but it doesn’t have to take lives so long as we approach the subject properly.

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