Why Addiction is a Disease

A disease is defined as: a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people. A disease if not treated properly, often gets progressively worse and more problematic in one’s life. Addiction is a medically-diagnosable disease just like heart disease or liver failure. If left untreated, it too can be deadly.

I want to talk about why addiction is a disease. And I’m glad that we’re talking about this more in society, you know, in our culture because mental health, addiction, substance abuse is a problem. And it’s been a problem for so many people, so many families for so long that I’m glad that it’s starting to finally get more attention, but we still have a long way to go.

Now, the reason why addiction is a disease, why it’s medically diagnosable, according to the American medical association and most major medical bodies in developed countries around the world, is that just like any other condition it’s treatable, it has certain symptoms. It without treatment can often cause bodily injury, right, and even death. And so the definition of a disease is defined as

“A particular quality habit or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or a group of people and a disease if not treated properly, often gets progressive and worse and more problematic in one’s life with time.”

And because it’s a medically diagnosable disease, just like heart disease or liver failure or cancer or anything else, it’s something that we can improve. It’s something that we with treatment can actually get better with and can sometimes in many cases overcome.

So my own personal story is one that’s based in addiction, in tragedy, in redemption and overcoming and working through the entire spectrum and how this really works in someone’s life. Now you probably know somebody who’s been affected by addiction. Maybe you have yourself, a family member or friend?

It could be video games, porn, sex, drugs, alcohol, you name it. The behavior doesn’t matter. So the substance doesn’t matter as much. It’s the behavior, right? The root behavior, the response to a stimulus, the coping with an issue, the hiding of a trauma, that’s the root problem.

And I’m really glad to start to get new and new approaches to the idea of addiction as a treatable disease from different, more alternative holistic wellness and personal coaching angles, more so than we’ve ever had before. So while society and while people love doctors and well just the general public is finally realizing that addiction is something that is a massive cultural societal problem. One that affects over 25 million people a year. And that’s just the reported numbers. I firmly believe it’s at least double that because of all the shame and the guilt that surrounds the admission of when we have a problem, when we have something that we need to treat and really get better at.

So with those numbers being so high, a lot of alternative treatments have really started to pop up over the last five years. I’m excited because a lot of the traditional treatment programs for addiction have been on one side of the spectrum. And even in the later stages, the harm reduction prevention stages, it’s often 12 step based programs, group based fellowships, religious based programs and outpatient services.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you might have individual therapy. On the other end, you have crisis management when things have gotten so bad with a bad habit behavior addiction, where you need detox.

You may need an inpatient rehabilitation center. You need to go away to a retreat or to a center where there’s doctors and medical staff and others to help you intervene and kind of shock treatment if you will. What I’ve noticed though, is that there’s not a lot of providers, programs and treatment in the middle.

60% to 80% of the people are not getting the right treatment

Most are not getting a solution, in overcoming that addiction, that behavior, that’s holding them back. This is in the way of them living their best life, living healthy, fulfilled, purposeful, and succeeding and achieving their goals.

There’s a lot of free resources here from free training on how to break free and live free to different articles and blog posts. One of the things that I do each week is try to put up some meaningful content that can help you. It can help inspire and encourage, equip, and train you to live differently, to think differently in mind, body, and spirit about what it means to understand and really internalize addiction.

Remember, it’s a spectrum, right? It’s got all different angles to it. It’s not easily quantified. It’s not easily understood and it’s not easily treated, but with the right approach, with the right self reflection and awareness, and with opening up yourself to new ways of thinking, operating, behaving and living a lot of growth can come from that.

I truly believe that we can break free from the old habits, behaviors, and addictions that have been holding us back. But we have to start with that step one, right?

What is step one?

It’s always admitting that we don’t like where we are today. That something needs to change that if we continue living and doing the way we’ve always done, we’ll continue living and getting the results we’ve always gotten.

Pattern interruption, intervention, and disruption is key to jolt us from negative behaviors to create a new pathway of growth

And again, that can happen in the holistic wellness space. A lot of meditation, yoga, other disciplines. Eastern disciplines are finding great success with people looking to break free and to overcome addiction. We’re also seeing a lot of programs in the personal development, self-help personal growth space being really successful ways to introduce people to concepts of living concepts of health, concepts of mindset that can also be really effective in treating and overcoming addiction.

And that’s kind of where I really personally resonated and practice a lot of what we do at the Live Free Lifestyle and in my personal coaching and business and life is that alternative philosophy that taking a collection of ideas, disciplines, habits, and behaviors, and putting them together into a system that works for you. A system that can help you in your unique path in life, live free, live fully, and to do it without addiction. To break free from the shackles.

But for a lot of people, it doesn’t work. It’s not a modern secular approach to breaking free and to living free and to beating addiction. You know, and there’s also a lot of value and save time and money by not waiting until things get really bad, right? Until on the other end of that spectrum, which is where we really need to invest and we need to go to a detox center. We need to go to a detox to go to a treatment center because we’re mandated to, by the law, our job, our spouse, our family, whatever it is. We want to avoid that crisis, right? That harm reduction, that idea of getting it, tackling it, addressing it before it gets to that point.

So again, addiction is a disease. Addiction is a disease of the mind, the body and the soul when it needs to be treated. If it does not get treated often it gets worse, progressive in nature or symptoms and negative effects start happening to our health, our body, our mind, our relationships, our wealth, every area of our life can be affected by this negatively.

So that’s my message this week, hopefully a side that resonated, you know, if you’re somebody who likes to share things of value as somebody, please share this post, send this to somebody that needs to hear this message, like it, comment and leave something below. Again, to your freedom, to your happiness and to your success in life, we’ll see you next time.