Addiction is a disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It not only affects the individual struggling with addiction but also their loved ones. Addiction is considered a chronic disease that requires ongoing care, just like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma that surrounds it.
There is the belief that addiction is a moral failing, a lack of willpower, or a choice. However, this simply is false. Addiction is a complex disease that affects the individual’s mental, spiritual and physical health.
Addiction as a Chronic Disease
Addiction is a chronic disease that stimulates the brain’s reward system, making it difficult for individuals to control their cravings and use. Just like other chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure, addiction requires ongoing care, management, and lifestyle changes. Addiction can have long-lasting negative impacts on an individual’s physical, emotional, and social well-being, which is why it is vital to seek long-term care.
Relapsing is Common
Relapse is a common occurrence among individuals with addiction, and it does not mean that treatment has failed. Addiction changes the brain’s wiring, making it easier for individuals to revert to old habits and behaviors. The high rate of relapse is why long-term care is essential. Treatment should be ongoing to avoid relapse and ensure individuals have access to ongoing support and care.
Co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, or trauma are common among individuals struggling with addiction. These disorders can contribute to addiction and can also be exacerbated by it. Addressing co-occurring disorders is crucial to successful treatment outcomes and long-term recovery. Long-term care allows individuals to continue addressing co-occurring disorders and improving their mental health.
Long-term care provides individuals with addiction the opportunity to develop and practice coping skills that promote lasting recovery. Coping skills such as a mindfulness practice, relapse prevention strategies, trauma and stress reduction techniques that assists to empower individuals with the tools they need to manage their cravings and avoid relapse.
Building a supportive community can make all the difference in long-term recovery. Long-term care fosters a supportive community of peers, caregivers, and trained professionals who can provide ongoing support and care. Community support can help individuals with addiction feel less isolated and more connected, promoting long-term recovery.
Addiction is a chronic disease that requires ongoing care, management, and lifestyle changes. Long-term care is vital to ensure successful treatment outcomes, address co-occurring disorders, develop coping skills, build supportive communities, and prevent relapse. Understanding addiction as a chronic disease can help reduce stigma, promote compassionate treatment, and provide hope for those struggling with addiction.
Are you a professional in either Boston or Philadelphia who is struggling with addiction? Please get in touch with the professionals at Providence Treatment, who are here to help.