CDC defines Chronic Illness as. The CDC says that chronic illness refers to the symptoms and not the cause. Addiction is an illness.
The disease model is not disputing that addiction starts as an option. But when a substance’s introduction occurs, a new dynamic happens that has to do with brain chemistry.
We will be discussing in detail the definition of addiction and its relationship to brain function.
What Does Addiction Look Like?
Many variables can influence the probability of someone developing a drug use disorder. A study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse was supported by NIDA. It found that children whose parents have had substance use issues were twice as likely as their peers to develop a drug addiction. The history and evolution of substance use in America have always been strongly linked to socioeconomics. Another study, which was supported in part by NIDA and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, examined the substance use progression factors common in the United States.
The disease model for addiction suggests that addiction is similar to other diseases like heart disease or diabetes. Like these diseases, addiction may be caused by both genetic factors as well as lifestyle choices. We can pinpoint lifestyle choices that lead to addiction. But, this does not mean that they are independent of culture, environment, or other opportunities.
How Do People Get Addicted?
This is the pleasure principle. The production of dopamine is increased when there are addictive substances like alcohol or drugs. This causes pleasure receptors to flood. The article then states that “the risk of addiction to a drug is directly proportional to its speed of dopamine release, intensity, and reliability of that delivery.” However, this pleasure principle is not the only one to blame for drug and alcohol addiction.
The learning process is determined by the interactions between dopamine and glutamate. This neurotransmitter helps us remember the stimuli that bring pleasure. When the brain’s pleasure system is overwhelmed by the dopamine from substance misuse, glutamate can form a memory for the environmental markers. This could be a scent, a place, an emotion, or even a sound.
These stimuli are also responsible for stimulating the brain to seek the same source through cravings. This is where the idea that you have free will disappears from the disease model addiction. As neurotransmitters control your choices to seek out the same substance, this is when the disease model addiction is broken.
The brain cannot tolerate dopamine and alcohol dopamine swells. This is where compulsion enters the picture.
Despite the decline in dopamine, glutamate can still cause intense cravings when it is exposed to environmental markers. It encourages those who have used drugs to consume more of the drug and to eat more to satisfy the craving. This can cause addiction and hinder rehabilitation.
These chemical reactions can lead to permanent changes in brain function even after one-time usage.
Where The Model Of Addiction For Disease Falls Short?
While the addiction disease model can give a lot of insight into how addiction starts and how it works in the body, this model is not perfect.
Many people fear that calling addiction a condition would mean that addicts aren’t responsible for their actions. This is false. Addiction changes the way your brain makes decisions, prioritizes, and makes decisions. Addiction does nothing to affect the ability of the brain to differentiate right and wrong or to identify when actions are detrimental to you and others.
The addiction model does not provide a straightforward or standard treatment plan. There is no one solution to substance abuse. Locating a treatment plan in Great Oaks Recovery Center that works for you could be a time-consuming and costly process.