Addiction And Alcoholism Are Diseases, Not Shortcomings

woman addiction

Recently, the Surgeon General of the United states released his yearly special report. In an unprecedented topic, this year’s title is Facing Addiction In America. The surgeon general examined all areas of addiction and alcoholism in the United States including treatment, prevention, and harm reduction. 2016 saw high numbers of deaths due to opioid overdose, seeing increases in the hundreds of percentages since earlier years. Close to 129 people die from an opioid overdose each day, the report mentions, and almost 80 people per day die from alcoholism.


The numbers in the United States are reflected around the world. Addiction and alcoholism claim the lives of millions per year globally. For such a widespread epidemic, little attention is paid. Problematically, many continue to view addiction and alcoholism as moral failings and shortcomings of character. Based in morality and personality rather than biology, addicts and alcoholics are shamed as well as stigmatized. The preconceptions of addiction and alcoholism are pervasive, affecting even the way governments make decisions about how they should be treated. Thousands of scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, and researchers around the world agree that addiction and alcoholism are diseases. Disease, most emphasize, which demands to be treated with utmost care.

Brain Science

Addiction and alcoholism impact the brain and the body. The brain develops a tolerance to drugs and alcohol while the body develops an allergy. Constitutionally incapable of having just one drink or drug, addicts and alcoholics have a genetic misfire which causes them to consume without consequence. Neuroscientific study has discovered the underlying processes of addiction in the brain. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter for pleasure, essentially overrides the brain. By causing damage in multiple areas including the nucleus accumbens, the midbrain, the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus, among many more, drugs and alcohol essentially hijack the brain. Until the substance abuse is stopped, the damage does not stop. As a result both the brain and the body suffer.

Like any medical disorder, addiction and alcoholism need to be treated with special care. Around the world, governments and industries are fighting to have addiction and alcoholism recognized and treated with parity to medical diagnoses. As the world feels the impact through dramatic loss of life, it is slowly beginning to take necessary measure to treat addiction and alcoholism differently.


At Aurora Recovery Centre, we treat both addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our programs use the most effective therapeutic methods and scientific technology to ensure our patient’s recovery. We strive to equip each patient with the tools they need to live a long and successful life free of substances. For more information about our treatment programs, call 844-515-STOP.

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