Intervention for Addictions

Addiction is a primary disease and progressive illness that when left unattended often results in institutionalization and death. 

 

Alcoholism and drug addiction are not secondary to other physical and emotional maladies, although they often co-exist with other problems (i.e. hypoglycemia, depression).

 

Disease is a medical term indicating an entity which has distinct signs and symptoms, a definite course, a more or less predictable outcome and an identified treatment.

 

Taking alcoholism as an example, let us apply the disease concept:

 

  • Symptoms: Yale researchers identified a total of 60 symptoms of alcoholism. This research occurred in the late 1900′s.Symptoms as they occur in the course of the disease.Early Stage: relief drinking, blackouts, repeated episodes of drunk driving, loss of control.Middle or crucial stage: Family problems, job problems, money problems, breakdown of morals. (These are comparable to the DMS IV “loss of functioning categories)

 

Addiction: A Neurological Disorder

 

Late Stage: Characterized by serious physical deterioration (i.e. liver, brain, pancreas). If the professional waits to see tolerance, withdrawal, and serious physical symptoms, it may be too late for effective treatment.

  • Treatment: Is abstinence from all mood-altering chemicals. Therapy and peer support reinforce the need for abstinence. 70-80% of alcoholics recover if they get treatment in the early or middle stage of the disease.

  • Cause: Still being debated, but most experts cite a strong genetic link as well as some social factors. There is very convincing evidence that alcoholics break down alcohol differently than non-alcoholics.

 

 

Click below links for Addiction Definitions and Information 

Alcoholism - Marijuana Crack and Cocaine - Methamphetamine Heroin