WHAT IS ADDICTION Addiction is often defined as a “chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the harmful consequences to the addict and to those around him or her. We often say it is a physiological dependency on a substance, person place or thing – that when the harmful consequences come to light we choose to do nothing about it.
The disease is a disease of the brain. It affects the reptilian part of our brain. That’s the part of the brain that operates all our automatic body functions. All diseases affect some body organ. The organ affected here is the Brain. As this disease is chronic – it developed over time, in most cases it didn’t just happen but took a long time. It’s progressive and gets worse with time. We are never cured, so we are always in recovery. We can however put the disease into remission if we do certain things. We will discuss them in future blogs.
This disease is out of the addicts control. The first time they used them made a decision to use, after that because of the changes in the brain it was out of their control. This makes it almost impossible to quit with out support and assistance. Even with sever consequences, hospital, jail, loss of family, homes, jobs etc it isn’t enough for the addict to stop on their own. An intervention and treatment is usually required. We will talk more about Interventions in the next blog. For more information on the Drugs and the Brain take look at these publications.