The Addiction Disease

American Addiction Centers recognizes that addiction — whether to alcohol, prescription drugs, illicit drugs or binge eating — is a disease. What this means for those seeking treatment is that we approach the individual as a whole person full of potential, and treatment is applied to help the individual overcome the addiction disease that is impeding his or her potential.

Addiction Disease and the Brain

Addiction does, in fact, function as a disease, in that it attacks the mid-brain resulting in neurological dysfunction. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. When the brain’s circuitry is dysfunctional, it impacts an individual not only on a biological level but also on a psychological and social level as well. It also has a consistent set of symptoms, such as distorted thinking, impaired decision making or ability to recognize a growing problem, physiological substance dependence, and craving. According to ASAM, addiction is a progressive disease and without the active participation in a recovery-based program, addiction can result in disability or premature death.

Addiction — whether to alcohol, prescription drugs, illicit drugs or binge eating — is a disease.

Our treatment programs provide each client with a rich education about these symptoms and their causes, physiological and psychosocial. The goal is to arm clients with all the information needed, regarding their particular addiction, to develop sound strategies for managing the addictive mechanisms at work in their lives and building long-term healing from the addiction disease.

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