The famous saying that says, “If you are addicted once, your addiction will continue” has become ingrained in the minds of many, prompting the addict to ask, Is this real and can I cure that addiction? Is addiction a physical or psychological disease?
To find out the answer to this; First you need to know the true diagnosis of addiction, is addiction a disease? Is it a chronic disease? Is it an organic disease or a mental illness?
Doctors differed on whether addiction was a disease or not; Some of them believe that addiction is a brain disease, because it actually leads to a malfunction in some basic brain circuits, and some explain that addiction is not a disease, but “disorders” or “syndrome”, because the causes of mental illness are not yet well understood.
However, the common interpretation is that addiction is appropriate to the concept of disorder, whether it is behavioral, mental or psychological, as long as the addict has a desire to engage, which leads to the disorder of conduct and mental disorder.
If the addiction leads to changes in the addict’s personality and negatively affects his will, but does not completely destroy this will, the addict can stop using drugs if he wants, and this happens when the addict suffers from it too much, whether this suffering is psychological or health.
This view is supported by the fact that changes in the brain as a result of addiction disappear when the addict stops using the drug he was taking.
Is addiction a physical or psychological disease?
Doctors are divided into two views. The prevailing view is that addiction is an organic disease of the brain. This view is supported by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which includes the largest professional group of physicians who specialize in treating drug addiction; Addiction is defined as “a chronic brain disease that affects the brain circuits responsible for feelings of reward, motivation, and calmness.”
But the definition of addiction as a brain disease. It does not explain the voluntary or voluntary dimension of the addict. The term “brain disease” often implies a lack of control over behavior, which is inconsistent with reality. The addict has the will, but is weak and able to control his decisions and respond to them.
This perception also neglects the fact that individuals use drugs for a variety of reasons. There are psychological factors that stimulate addiction, such as social conditions or the environment surrounding the addict.
in 1970; Vietnam military doctors estimated that nearly half of US Army veterans who fought in Vietnam were exposed to opium and heroin abuse, and between 10% and 25% were already addicted. After the soldiers were treated and returned to their homes, most of them stopped working. Once they return home and change the environment that led them to use, heroin loses its appeal to them.
Addiction is an organic disease or a psychological one? Vietnam War addicts
Doctors explain that opiates such as heroin and other drugs helped them endure the boredom and fear of war, but were consumed in their own country by civilian life.
In addition to the bad reputation of the addict. High heroin prices and fear of arrest. Concerning drug use, which explains that the addict has a will, confirming the view that addiction is not a mental illness.
Additionally, only 5% of addicted soldiers relapsed within 10 months after returning. And only 12% returned within a 3-year period. This is a reasonable proportion of the fact that addiction is not chronic and drug addicts can quit.
How to treat addiction disease?
The addict needs to treat the parts of the brain and psychological factors in order to get rid of addictive ., the brain through pharmacological and psychological drugs through treatment sessions and continuous care.
It is recommended to receive treatment in addiction treatment centers under the supervision of specialized doctors. Future Center is the first center in Egypt to offer a comprehensive treatment program for alcohol and drug addicts. As well as to treat recurrent psychological problems such as trauma, anxiety and depression that often accompany addiction.