Addiction was declared a disease by the World Health Organisation in 1956 and this has been reinforced over the years by many other organisations. Physiological, genetic, psychosocial, nutritional and environmental factors are often thought to lead to the development of this disorder, and these issues need to be addressed in recovery.
Definition of Addiction
Addiction causes a person to act in a pattern of unhealthy, compulsive behaviour which they carry out uncontrollably around the chronic use of a certain substance or stimulus such as alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling or cigarettes. It almost always features a level of psychological dependence, and often, physical dependence. In general, an addict:
- Suffers a persistent need to use
- Fails at every effort to cut down, or stop, using on his own
- Keeps using despite negative experiences and dangerous situations
- Uses to cope with everyday life
- Needs to use to feel “normal”
- Is often preoccupied with obtaining and using the drug(s) of choice
Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Long term use changes complex and delicate brain circuits. That’s why the life of an addict becomes extremely unmanageable. They are ultimately unable to take care of themselves at home, at work or in their social lives.
Anyone who comes to Eden for rehab will share the above experiences. Once they start, they cannot stop. It is impossible to predict how much they will drink or use, or how long the binge will go on for. In late chronic stages of addiction, the addict or alcoholic can use or drink all the time, day in and day out.
Addiction has been compared to other chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma and hypertension. All of these conditions require a complete lifestyle change. Some of these changes will include diet, medication, exercise and ongoing treatment. They all require ongoing intervention.
However the disease concept is applicable during detoxification from the substance, and in lectures and workshops to help our clients understand some of the reasons why they cannot stop.
We believe that our clients must move into a change process of treating their “dis-ease” with life by learning to live life on life’s terms.
Contact us today at:
Tel: 011 244 9916
Fax: 011 244 9917
24-hour Helpline: 060 344 7808
Visit us at:
438 Chattan Road