The disease of addiction was once spurred by the false notion that addicts and alcoholics suffered from a lack of will power. There are many circles today that still believe this to be fact, but over time much research has been done to prove the contrary. The first known American doctor to credit alcoholism as a disease was Dr. Benjamin Rush in 1784 (NCADD, 2015). Since then, the American Medical Association declared alcoholism a disease in 1956 (AMA, 2015). Fortunately, science is making vast strides in trying to determine genetic variations that help contribute to the prevalence of addiction.
Addiction has many faces and many complex characteristics……but one commonality is that without treatment it can be one of the most destructive and devastating diseases in existence. It not only affects the addict, but often disrupts or destroys the entire family unit. It is completely reasonable to say that the disease of addiction is a family disease, as well as an individual disease. Many organizations claim to have a cure, but the reality is that there is no way to permanently eradicate the disease of addiction. There are, however, ways to treat addiction just as it would be necessary to treat cancer. There is medication and treatment for cancer patients, and for alcoholics and addicts there is treatment and 12 step programs. The only true way to ensure success in beating addiction is entire abstinence from the substance or substances.
There is no magic cure for AddictionAlthough there is not a way to suddenly cure an alcoholic or addict, there are many programs and treatment centers that offer hope. There are many successful 12 step programs that contain an inexplicable sense of camaraderie and acceptance. These programs allow people from all walks of life to come together and candidly discuss their common peril. These solution based fellowships are available all over the world, and offer hope to those struggling with the disease of addiction.
SourcesAmerican Medical Association. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.ama-assn.org