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For a long, long time, addiction to drugs or alcohol has been perceived as an individual’s moral failing. The one addicted to these substances are seen as people who lack the willpower to stop consumption. Today, the same view is still held by several people. A new model of looking at addiction and alcoholism, however, has been revealed and is taking the forefront of the scientific community. In the medical setting, addiction is now treated as a disease with plenty of research to back it up.

  • Addiction tends to follow the same pattern as with other chronic illnesses just like diabetes and asthma.
  • A patient can go into remission and relapse a few times before completely beating their condition.
  • Just like any chronic disease, addiction can also be managed and treated.

A lot of people who have decided to combat this illness model of drug addiction and alcoholism know that addiction starts by choosing to try using alcohol or drugs. While this is true, it is completely beside the point. Once a user begins the use of an addictive substance, addiction can develop until it becomes too difficult to control.

Addiction is deemed as a medical condition because of how it causes changes in the brain.

Addiction is able to create in you a physical dependency so you will be unable to stop using your chosen substance without having to go through withdrawal. Addiction also has an effect on your ability to decide reasonably. Recently, addiction has been associated with chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes as it shares several features unique to these chronic illnesses, which are:

  1. Heritability or the tendency for the disease to run in the family.
  2. Onset is usually influenced by behavior and environmental conditions.
  3. Precise biological factors.
  4. The ability to be responsive to proper treatment.


Scientists suggest that 40-60% of an individual’s vulnerability to addiction is caused by genetic factors. Moreover, other factors include the expression of an individual’s genes and the effects of certain environmental factors. An individual’s stage of development, as well as certain medical conditions, is also accounted for.

Biological Factors

Studies show that there are certain neurological changes contributing to an LGBT engaging in addiction. Addiction, like other illnesses, is able to disrupt your organs’ normal and healthy functions and can result in seriously harmful consequences that could have been prevented and treated but can last a whole lifetime if left untreated.

Effective Treatment is Possible

Chronic illnesses including addiction respond to proper treatment along with lifelong modifications to your lifestyle. Research on the science of addiction and treatment of disorders due to substance use has resulted in the development of interventions that are evidence-based to help LGBT individuals stop drug abuse and live productive lives.

Environmental Influences

Studies on addictive behaviors imply that both genetic and environmental influences along with the interactions between both play significant roles in the cause of addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that while genetics is a major role player in the definition of a person, issues of the environment could be as influential. NIDA points out that sometimes, behaviors with undesirable effects are chosen. Behavioral change and personal responsibility are both important in any treatment program.

Addiction, like any other chronic illness, can be managed successfully.

Treatment from drug rehab Hawaii allows you to counteract the disruptive effects of addiction in your brain and regain full control of your behavior and your life. Mental illness also co-exists with drug abuse. There are cases wherein mental illnesses like anxiety, schizophrenia, and depression actually precede the addiction, NIDA explains. There are also cases wherein drug abuse can trigger or else exacerbate mental disorders especially in those with certain vulnerabilities. You need to know that there are certain approaches to the treatment of both addiction and mental illnesses.

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