Mindful Thoughts

What is Addiction?

Addiction, now often referred to as substance use disorder (SUD), is a disease that involves the continued use of one or more substances. 

Some people do not feel as though addiction is a disease, Addiction is defined as a disease by most medical association, including the American Medical Association.

Like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by several factors. These include behavioral psychological, environmental, and biological factors. The genes passed on by our parents may also play a key role. They can be responsible for about half of a person’s risk of developing a SUD.

Early decisions to use substances are based on a person’s choice, though this is often affected by their culture and environment. When substance use progresses to the point of addiction, a person no longer chooses t use; they are now dependent on substances. A key sign of addiction is a loss of control over substance use. 

A person doesn’t choose how their brain and body respond to substances. This is why some people can control their use and other can’t. People with a substance use disorder can still reduce their use or abstain … it’s just much harder than it is for others. Just like any other disease people need to be able to get quality, evidence-based treatment, and care. 

With the help and support of family friends, and peers to access help and stay in treatment, people struggling with a SUD can increase their chances of recovery and survival. They can truly lead rewarding and fulfilling lives. 

If you know someone struggling with a SUD please reach out, there is help available. 

 Call Help4WVat 844-435-7498 or the staff at Doddridge Count Community Corrections DRC at 304-873-3005

 Jada Stout

 SUD Case Manager.