Few medical conditions are as misunderstood as addiction.
Through years of research, addiction scientists, doctors and related experts have shown that regardless of the negative personal, professional, health or social consequences – individuals who remain addiccted to a substance are not addicted as a matter of personal choice but are struggling with a brain disorder or chemical imbalance as some experts call it and that quitting is not really just a matter of having enough will power to stop.
Taking that first drink or drug is a matter of choice. But sometimes, that first choice results in years of addiction and many failed attempts to control the use of a substance. We believe addiction is a complex chronic disease that affects both the brain and behavior. For some people, repeated use of alcohol and drugs (including nicotine in tobacco) affects the brain’s neurotransmitters, “rewiring” them until living in a state of addiction becomes normal and necessary, instead of living in sobriety.
Yet as a disease, addiction bears many similarities to other incurable conditions, including diabetes, asthma and hypertension. All result from of a combination of genetic and environmental influences. Each affects individuals differently, must be treated for a lifetime, and cannot be conquered alone. And all respond to treatment that includes personal responsibility and behavioral change programs.
But the social stigma attached to the disease keeps some people from seeking the professional assistance they need to lead more fulfilling and healthy, productive lives. No matter what you call it, if you’re struggling with alcohol, drugs or tobacco, we can give you the help and tools you need to get your life back.
For more information about the disease of addiction, have a question, need more information about Fairbanks or want to make an appointment to talk to an addiction professional, call us at 1-800-446-0305or visit us at www.fairbankscd.org.