Is Drug Addiction a Disease?

Published by John Gillen | Last updated: 3rd March 2021

It’s a very sad fact that tens of thousands of people die annually as a result of drug-related illnesses or overdoses, and yet drug use is still common despite users being all too aware of the risks. Drug addiction is undoubtedly a polarising subject that has people holding strong opinions.

So then, why do people continue to take drugs, often to excess, even though the user themself is aware of the risks they are taking and the damage that drugs can cause, both physically and mentally?

Some people believe that drug addiction is a disease, whereas others claim drug addiction is simply a manifestation of human weakness and character flaw. At Cassiobury Court, we provide first-class drug addiction help and we have compiled the facts that you need to consider this century-old argument.

If you have any questions about drug addiction, heroin addiction, cannabis addiction or want information about your relationship with drugs, please call us today on 01923 369161 or text HELP to 83222 and we can provide you with advice if you are experiencing a drug addiction of your own.


Drug addiction – is it a weakness?

A popular theory regarding a drug addiction is that it is just a normal character flaw. This viewpoint is understandable to an extent as these people cannot see how the brain works from the outside – and nor can the addict themselves.

Most drug use begins as experimentation, which at that point is someone actively making a choice, owing to your body not being addicted to that particular drug.

Advocates of the theory that drug addiction is a weakness firmly make this point and cite poor decision making as a reason. It is easy to refute this, however, as experimentation with drugs often takes places at a young age and most commonly when a young person is between the age of fifteen and twenty-one.

At that age, the brain is possibly not fully formed to understand the consequences of drug abuse.

We believe that the notion of drug addiction being a weakness is easily dismissed. Recent research has shown that people who suffered from cocaine addiction, cannabis addiction and alcohol addiction have a resolve rate higher than 90%.

These drugs, alcohol specifically, can lead to extreme and deeply uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if the addict stops their use with abruptness.

Examples of withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, tremors and shakes. Given that 90% of addicts survive this experience and lead normal lives, Cassiobury Court believes that is a trait that belongs not to weakness, but to the strength of character.


Drug addiction is a disease

We do believe that drug addiction is a disease. A variety of brain scans compared the brain of someone suffering from drug addiction and someone who was not.

The difference between the two scans was extremely notable. Someone suffering from alcohol addiction has a markedly different way of thinking to someone who does not.

There is something of a problematic relationship between the brain and substances. Most substances, like alcohol, for example, cause shrinkage of the brain and because alcohol causes dehydration, the natural process of the brain shrinking is accelerated which possibly leads to illnesses like dementia.

Additionally, alcohol causes damage to the parts of the brain that regulates personality. Addicts may exhibit strange and different behaviour after addiction has taken place and this behaviour is often noticed by family, friends and colleagues.

This is because addiction will hijack the parts of the brain that would prioritise and therefore things that were previously seen as important may not be seen that way anymore. This is down to the addiction and is one of the effects of taking drugs.

If you suffer from a common mental health condition, this also makes you more susceptible to developing a drug addiction. This is mostly because people self-medicate the symptoms of these illnesses with a prescription or illegal drugs.

Examples of mental health conditions that may cause this are depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia.

An addict cannot simply give up drink or drugs, even if they want to. This is the clearest indication that drug addiction is a disease and that Cassiobury Court can offer you the right treatment to free yourself of drug addiction.


How Cassiobury Court can help

Suffering from drug addiction is a distressing and confusing time, and Cassiobury Court is here to help you. We can offer you a free consultation over the telephone and give you guidance about the long-term drug addiction effects. If you are concerned about a loved one, we also offer a referral programme.

You will be able to come to our comfortable rehab clinic for a residential rehab period of 28 days. This will allow you to focus on your recovery without the difficulties of everyday life. People suffering from drug addiction may suffer from difficult and unsafe home life and a residential rehab is an ideal chance to step away from this and to recover without distractions or temptations.

We also offer drug detox, which allows you to get clean. It’s a difficult period as withdrawal symptoms can be very painful, but you will be free of the drug addiction that has been causing you so much trouble.

You will also be able to undergo therapy sessions which allow you to identify the root cause of your drug addiction and how to change your behaviour with the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).


Call Cassiobury Court today

We are proud to offer our help to people from all walks of life who are suffering from drug addiction. You may have questions about the long- and short-term effects of drug addiction, and why is drug addiction considered a disease.

If you need drug addiction help, then please call us without delay. There’s no wait for our services and we can offer you all the help you require to overcome cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, cannabis addiction and many other drug addictions.

Why not call us today for a no-obligation consultation about your drug use?

John Gillen

John Gillen - Author Last updated: 3rd March 2021

John Gillen is a leading addiction treatment expert with over 15 years of experience providing evidence-based treatment methods for individuals throughout the UK. John also co-authors the book, The Secret Disease of Addiction, which delves into how the addictive mind works and what treatment techniques work best.