One of the main issues that Utah addiction treatment center specialists address is whether addiction is a choice. Is drug addiction a choice, or do addicts require professional help due to their inability to say no to their addiction? Let’s take a closer look below to find out the answers about the causes of addiction and choice.
Addiction affects the lives of millions of men and women in the U.S. annually. According to SAMHSA’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), over 28 million Americans over the age of 12 suffer from some type of addiction or dependence on drugs or alcohol.
Is Drug Addiction a Choice?
Is drug addiction a choice? Let’s first look at the definition.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry.
ASAM also includes specific characteristics of addiction:
- Inability to quit using a substance
- Impaired behavior control
- Dysfunctional emotional response
Causes of Addiction
What are the causes of addiction?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that a person enters into addiction by choice. However, as the effects of drugs wear on the brain over time, a person may have a more difficult time putting down drugs or alcohol without some type of professional support and counseling.
Therefore, the question, is drug addiction a choice? may be better answered once we have a better understanding of how the effects the brain. These effects may include:
- Mimicking neurotransmitters to send signals to parts of the central nervous system or brain
- Rewarding the brain through ongoing stimulation
- Triggering dopamine release in the brain — a process that creates high levels of pleasure
- Creating a pattern of getting high/drunk, coming, down, withdrawal, craving, repeat
NIDA also outlines key factors that influence a person’s likelihood to become addicted to a substance. These factors may include genetics, gender, ethnicity, early childhood development, and family or community environment. In fact, the genetics testing program in Utah gives you your chances of addiction based on genetic addiction and mental illness factors.
While nearly all healthcare professionals categorize addiction as some form of a disease, further research needs to continue to gain a consensus on the role of choice in overcoming compulsive behavior. Can a person quit on their own? What type of support is required to beat the causes of addiction? Do counseling and treatment increase the likelihood that someone will quit for good?
Help is Available
Is drug addiction a choice? Possibly, but so is getting help for addiction with residential addiction treatment programs in Utah.
While much research still needs to done on addiction, it is clear that you can choose to overcome addiction if you wish. So, if you’re wondering is drug addiction a choice? and are ready to take your first step to addiction recovery, then contact Acqua Recovery. You can overcome your addiction by getting the right treatment from professionals that genuinely care about your recovery. We offer services such as detox, rehab, and aftercare. To find out more about how to enroll in a treatment program today, call us at 866.830.4628.