The concept of addiction as a disease is not new. Yet, many people still believe that the person struggling with an alcohol or substance use disorder has a character defect, lacks morals, or simply has no willpower to overcome the strong desire to drink or use drugs.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. It is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
Here are 10 truths about addiction, treatment, and recovery that may change your perception.
1.) An estimated 21 million people 12 years of age and older need professional treatment to overcome addiction.
2.) Almost 4 million Americans over the age of 12 have received some kind of substance use treatment over the past year.
3.) Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use that is difficult to control, despite the harmful consequences of use.
4.) Addiction creates changes in the brain that affects the addicted person’s self-control and the ability to resist the intense urges to use or drink.
5.) A relapse is defined as the return to drug or alcohol use after a time in recovery.
6.) As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted to fit the patient’s changing needs.
7.) A relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesn’t work.
8.) No single factor can predict whether a person will become addicted to drugs or alcohol. A combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors influences risk for addiction.
9.) The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that using alcohol or other drugs can lead to addiction.
10.) Addiction is treatable. Treatment works. People recover.
Research on the disease of addiction has uncovered how drugs and alcohol affect the brain as well as the best practices needed to recover from addiction in order to live a full life in recovery.
September is National Recovery Month
National Recovery Month recognizes the millions of Americans who are currently struggling with issues surrounding addiction. It also celebrates those living a life in recovery while encouraging those struggling with an addiction to alcohol and other drugs to seek professional help.
Faces and Voices of Recovery is the national advocacy group behind National Recovery Month. They explain that “each September, Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.”
Now in its 32nd year, the theme for 2021 is “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.” Addiction touches everyone – not just the person living with the disease. When we all work together to educate and support each other, lifelong recovery can become a reality.
Seeking Help For Drug or Alcohol Addiction
At Plum Creek Recovery Ranch, we offer evidence-based, specialized treatment that is specific to your needs. Our experienced staff delivers compassionate care on our beautiful and private 200-acre ranch.
If you need help in overcoming an addiction to any drug or alcohol, Plum Creek Recovery Ranch is here to help. We’re committed to helping you reconnect to your healthy self, your family, and other important people in your life. With newfound tools for sobriety, we will help you reclaim the clarity needed to maintain a full and healthy life.
Click here to contact one of our caring Admissions Counselors for an absolutely free and anonymous chemical dependency assessment.