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Last updated on November 24th, 2023.

We often think of addiction as a choice when we think of addiction. However, addiction is much more complex than simply choosing to use drugs or alcohol. Many studies have been done to come to a conclusive answer to the question “Is addiction a disease?”

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain and changes the way a person thinks and behaves. Addiction disrupts areas of the brain that are responsible for motivation, learning, reward, memory, and judgment.

Addiction is a complex issue, and there are many viewpoints on it. Hopefully by looking at the evidence, we can gain a better understanding of this devastating condition.

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Is Addiction a Type of Disease?

Studies show that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, which can happen to anyone. It’s characterized by compulsive behavior and despite harmful consequences, these changes in your mind could lead you into engaging in behaviors like substance abuse despite knowing how bad it will make things.

Substances that are commonly abused are alcohol, shopping, gambling, food, etc. An individual can become addicted to anything and that could be referred to as their “drug of choice”.

If you feel like you or someone else has an alcohol addiction,  check out these programs other than AA for alcohol addiction recovery to learn about other useful  alternatives.

Addiction is also a relapsing disease. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop. Without treatment or engagement in effective behavioral therapies, relapse is common.

How do Most People Become Addicted?

While many factors can contribute to addiction, most experts agree that it typically begins with the voluntary use of a substance. For some people, this initial use leads to occasional recreational use, but for others, it can trigger a spiral into problematic use and ultimately addiction.

There are a variety of factors that can influence whether someone moves from occasional use to addiction, including genetic predisposition, mental health, environment, and social factors. For example, people who have a family history of addiction may be more likely to become addicted themselves, as addiction is often considered to be a disease with a strong genetic component.

Additionally, people who suffer from conditions like anxiety or depression may turn to substances to self-medicate. Similarly, exposure to trauma or other negative experiences can make someone more vulnerable to addiction. Ultimately, addiction is complex and multi-faceted, and there is no single cause.

When did Addiction Become Classified as a Disease?

Addiction has been a controversial topic for many years. Some people believe that addiction is a choice, while others argue that it is a disease. The American Medical Association (AMA) took a stand on the issue in 1987 when they officially classified addiction as a disease. This was a major turning point in the way that addiction was viewed by the medical community.

Before this, addiction was seen as a moral failing that willpower could overcome. However, the AMA’s decision to classify addiction as a disease signaled a shift in thinking. Addiction is now seen as a chronic and relapsing disease that requires medical treatment. This decision has helped to destigmatize addiction and pave the way for more effective treatments.

What is the Disease of Addiction Called?

Addiction is a complex condition that can be difficult to understand. At its core, addiction is a brain disease that causes a person to compulsively seek out and use drugs, despite the negative consequences. While addiction can affect people of all ages, it is most common in young adults.

Addiction is also known as substance use disorder. This term refers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association. According to this manual, a person can be diagnosed with substance use disorder if they meet two or more of the following criteria:

  • Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than intended
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or quit
  • Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of the substance
  • Giving up important activities to use the substance; continuing to use the substance despite problems it causes in relationships
  • Using the substance in situations where it is physically dangerous
  • Developing tolerance (needing more of the substance to achieve the desired effect)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the substance

These criteria are just a starting point for diagnosis – ultimately, only a trained mental health professional can say for sure whether someone has an addiction. There are plenty of methods to get mental health services without insurance in order to heal any condition. Narcissist are known to be addicted to a toxic relationship. Understand how a narcissist becomes a narcissist to prevent getting involved in a relationship with one or hopefully get them to understand themselves and their actions.

2 Great Online Resources to Help if You're Struggling with Addiction

Anyone struggling with addiction knows how hard it can be to find help. Thankfully, there are a growing number of online resources available to those in need. These resources provide information and support on a wide range of topics, from addiction recovery to relapse prevention. In addition, many of these websites offer 24/7 chat support, giving users the ability to connect with others who are facing similar challenges.

American Addiction Centers

American Addiction Centers offer a variety of services to help those suffering from substance abuse disorders. One of their most valuable offerings is their hotline, which is staffed by certified professionals who can help you track your progress and offer support.

The hotline is available 24/7, so there’s always someone available to talk to, whether you need help in the middle of the night or just want someone to talk to during the day. AAC also offers text and chat options, so you can always get the support you need when you need it.

PYRAMID Healthcare, Inc.

PYRAMID Healthcare, Inc. understands that addiction is a serious disease that requires treatment and support. They also know that addiction can be isolating, making it difficult for sufferers to reach out for help. That’s why they offer a range of mobile apps and social media tools to help those suffering from addiction connect with the support they need.

The apps provide information on treatment options and nearby support groups, as well as allow users to anonymously share their experiences and connect with others who understand what they’re going through. They also offer a variety of online tools, including a forum where users can access peer support and share their stories.


Addiction is a disease. It’s not a choice, and people don’t “just stop using drugs.” Recovery from addiction is possible, but it takes time, effort, and support. There are many different types of treatment available, so find the one that works for you. You are not alone in this fight.

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