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02/21/2020

Addiction is Treatable

addictionistreatableWe are beginning a new service for our patients and anyone who is struggling with addiction.  The word addiction often caries a negative connotation.  For someone who doesn’t have an addiction, it only seems reasonable to believe the person who is using the substance could “just quit.” or “could “just try harder to stop using.”   Common sense says “will power” should be enough.  Yet most of the time it isn’t a matter of will power.  For example, someone who is having an asthma attack, is it reasonable to say, “just try harder to breathe?” No the reasonable thing to do is offer a treatment that can interrupt the asthma attack – a breathing treatment or an Inhaler.  The same is true for addiction.  I think it is important to look at the medical definition of addiction advanced by the American Society of Addiction Medicine:

Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases.

Some key points in this definition: addiction is a chronic medical disease and not a moral failing. Addiction is treatable.  But effective treatment requires addressing many elements that impact the disease.  And that prevention is an effective strategy when looking at addiction from a public health perspective.

The Duncan Regional Hospital Behavioral and Addiction Health clinic is here to help anyone who is caught in the throes of addiction.  We provide comprehensive outpatient treatment that addresses those elements that have been disordered due to addiction.  If you or someone you love is willing to accept treatment, we are here to provide

Dan Criswell, MD
Duncan Behavioral Health and Addiction

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