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Disease of Addiction

Many clients who enter alcohol and drug treatment are surprised to learn that they suffer from a disease. The disease of alcoholism and drug addiction was recognized by the American Medical Association way back in 1956. The destructive use of alcohol and drugs has been a significant problem for men and women for centuries and not because a lack of immorality or will power but because a percentage of the human population is prone to the disease. Such people are influenced through a variety of factors including inherited traits, lifestyle and psychological inclinations.

Of course if an individual never took a drink or drug the disease of alcoholism and addiction would not begin its destructive course but the compulsive mind seeking an escape usually winds up seeking a solution through alcohol and drugs eventually. Alcoholics and drug addicts report seeking a euphoria and comfort from drinking and using that most people don't experience or understand. This is due to the chemical change in the body of a potential alcoholic or addict once alcohol and drugs are taken into the body. The disease shifts from an obsession of the mind to escape reality to an abnormal reaction of the body.
Abnormal Reaction of the Body

For most people when they consume a toxic substance like alcohol or drugs they enjoy it to the point when their body tells them that they have had enough and then they stop. For a drug addict and alcoholic it is the reverse, the mind and body send the signal that if some is good then more is better and will drink and use past the point of getting sick, blacking out, being arrested, losing a job, losing a spouse, losing a house and just about any other self-destructive consequence you can think of.

The trouble that drinkers and drug users continue to bring upon themselves only serves to prove the disease concept. Only an insane person would continue to drink and drive after being arrested for a DUI, or threatened with divorce or termination but alcoholics and addicts have a chronic disease that renders life unmanageable in many ways.
Outside Treatment is Required

It is easy how someone who has a disease of cancer or leukemia cannot simply treat themselves by saying "I'll just stay away from cancer or leukemia." It is the same for alcoholism and drug addiction, it is a disease that is never cured but it effectively controlled by a treatment program that includes intense counseling and continuous support.

It may be hard for someone in the depths of their disease to understand how life can once again be meaningful and rewarding. There is a world full of people who have gone through treatment and now live completely free from the bondage of alcohol and drugs.