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How Is Addiction a Disease?

Views on drug and alcohol addiction have changed over time. While it was originally thought that addiction was a moral failing, much research has been done to disprove that theory. Later many thought it was purely a biological disease, but that view was also not complete. Today, many addiction experts view addiction through a biopsychosocial model that encompasses the biological, psychological, and social factors that lead to addiction. Using this model has allowed for new approaches for understanding and treating addiction. At 10 Acre Ranch, we understand that addiction cannot be viewed in a tunnel and we are here to help you break free from your addiction in a holistic way. 

The Science Behind Addiction

The biopsychosocial model of addiction recognizes that your addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  It takes into account the potential genetic factors behind addiction and adds psychological and social factors. Social factors include things like the environment in which you were raised, the social norms, and your relationships. For example, if you were raised in an environment where using drugs was normalized as a way to cope, you will likely view using drugs in that way. Likewise, if your social circle relies on drug use as a way of socializing, you will see it in that way. Psychological factors include any co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. It can also include a history of trauma and any resulting PTSD. Biological factors focus on the genetic component of addiction and brain changes that occur from things like trauma. Having relatives with a history of addiction or other mental health disorders increases your risk for the same. It is the coming together of these three areas that create the possibility of addiction.  Understanding these factors helps with the successful treatment of addiction. 

How Does One Become an Addict?

While no one truly knows why one person becomes an addict and another does not, there is enough research available to draw some conclusions. Being genetically predisposed to addiction puts you at a greater risk of becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. However, it’s not a guarantee. Some individuals grow up around addicted family members and never use drugs and alcohol. Others begin using at an early age and never look back. Additionally, a genetic link is not a requirement. There are many who find themselves facing addiction who have no history of addiction within their family tree. The road to addiction can be viewed as a perfect storm between the different risk factors and the use of drugs and alcohol. If you never picked up a drug or a drink, it would not matter if you had all of the risk factors for addiction. 

What Is the Best Way to Get Help With Addiction?

Everyone’s path into addiction is a little bit different and the same is true of the road out. How your road out of addiction is paved will depend on the drugs you’ve used, your patterns of use, any co-occurring disorders, and more. At 10 Acre Ranch, we’ve been providing Southern California with expert and caring addiction treatment for over 25 years.  We understand addiction and we know how to treat it. Our mission is to rebuild lives, restore families, and improve communities. We are one of the leading rehab facilities in California and offer a wide range of programs that will meet your needs.  We provide a warm and welcoming environment where we tailor healing to the whole person. We are committed to helping you break free from active addiction.  Contact us today and let us help you with your addiction!  

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