Why Is Drug Addiction Considered A Complex Brain Disease?

Although addicts are unfortunately often treated like reprobates or outcasts, addiction is officially considered a disease. This shift in what addiction means occurred as far back as the 1970’s, and much progress has been made. Discover more about why drug addiction is considered a complex brain disease and what this means for your recovery.

How Addiction Came to Be Seen as a Disease, Not a Choice

While the line between crime and drug addiction is still often blurred, the fact that drug addicts can safely seek rehabilitation has only been true for a couple of centuries. Explore some of the people and events that led to a change in the way the world views drug and alcohol addiction.

Benjamin Rush – Founding Father and Originator of Alcoholism as a Disease

To discuss the history of how addiction is viewed in America, it’s crucial to bring up the contributions of Benjamin Rush. Not only was Rush one of the founding fathers of this concept, but he was arguably the first in the world to propose the fact that alcohol abuse may involve physical factors in the brain.

The First Facility Opens Strictly for Treating Alcoholism in New York

Opened in 1958, the New York State Inebriate Asylum opened, becoming the first facility completely dedicated to treating alcoholics. Its existence played a major role in spreading the idea that addiction is a medical disease.

Why is Drug Addiction Considered a Disease Rather than a Choice?

Benjamin Rush was the first to place more blame on the alcohol than the addict, and many experts agree. Once someone has used certain drugs and substances, their brain chemistry can be completely altered, making it so they need that drug to feel happiness again. Since the chemistry of the brain and body can be changed after just a few uses of drugs like meth, ecstasy, or alcohol, the addiction is now treated as a legitimate disease.

Addiction and Genetic Factors

Repeatedly using drugs or alcohol rewires your brain, but there are other factors that contribute to addiction. An important fact about addiction is that genetics plays a major role in how susceptible people are to it. Check out these alarming facts about how vulnerable someone is to be an addict based on their family history:

  • Addiction is 50% genetic disposition and 50% coping skills
  • Children of addicts are 8 times more likely to develop an addiction

Myrtle Beach Recovery Can Guide You On Your Journey to Recovery

Addiction recovery isn’t something to be rushed. In fact, returning home before an addict is ready can easily lead to relapse. Take all the recovery time you need to ensure that your life gets back on track. Myrtle Beach Recovery provides a peaceful residential setting just outside of Myrtle Beach, SC. Here, addicts can work through the 12 Step Program away from temptation and learn the skills to help them maintain their sobriety.

Explore our housing and facilities, and contact us today for more information.