A vast majority of people don’t know how to label addiction. So is addiction a disease or a lifestyle choice? It often shocks people to learn that most medical associations list addiction as a disease. Below is a closer look at addiction and why experts consider it a disease.
So, Is Addiction a Disease?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Medical Association, addiction is a disease. They label it so because it shares many traits with other diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For example, all of these diseases occur as a result of biological, behavioral, and environmental factors.
Like other diseases, addiction is a life-threatening condition if people don’t seek help. It brings on both mental and physical health problems. It’s just as deadly and dangerous as any other disease out there.
Does the Risk of Addiction Preexist in People?
Studies show that there’s often a link between genetics and diseases. For example, people who have a history of diabetes in their families are more at risk of developing it themselves. As a disease, addiction is no different.
Scientists have found certain genes that make people more likely to develop an addiction. Similar to other diseases, families pass these genes down through the generations.
The biggest difference between addiction and some other diseases is that people have a choice. Some of them are more at risk of developing an addiction. However, they can’t develop an addiction to alcohol or drugs if they never use. They usually decide to start using themselves.
Is Addiction a Chronic Disease?
To understand if addiction is a chronic disease, people need to understand the term. In general, doctors list a disease as chronic if it’s a long-lasting condition. There are no cures for these diseases, but people generally have the power to control their effects.
Once again, type II diabetes is the perfect example of a chronic disease. As of 2018, there’s no cure, but people can control its effects with medication, exercise, and proper diet. The same is true for addiction.
Is addiction a disease? Yes, it’s a chronic disease. There’s no cure for it, but people can learn to control it with proper treatment. The key is to seek professional help to address the cause, make lifestyle changes, and learn skills to avoid relapse.
Let Us Provide Help for Your Teen
Does your teen suffer from addiction? At Destinations for Teens, we focus on providing treatment for teenagers. From marijuana addiction treatment to family therapy, we offer a variety of services to meet your teen’s unique needs. Some of the services that we provide include:
- Partial hospitalization programs
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Alumni programs
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
Find out more about the answer to the question, “Is addiction a disease?” at by reaching out to Destinations for Teens. Let us help your teen overcome it. Call us at 877-466-0620 for more information about our treatment services.