Disease of Addiction

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There is an argument in the medical and psychological community about the disease of addiction -- Is addiction a disease? Some think it is not, that addiction is a matter of choices and self control and not a disease of addiction. Others say it is indeed a disease.

A report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that addiction is "a real and complex disease." It states:

Drug addiction shares many features with other chronic illnesses, including a tendency to run in families (heritability), an onset and course that is influenced by environmental conditions and behavior, and the ability to respond to appropriate treatment, which may include long-term lifestyle modification.

Studies reveal both genetic and environmental factors of addiction

NIDA said studies on the disease of addiction have shown that genetics as well as the environment in which they are raised and live play a role in an addict's condition -- just like many other medical conditions.

However, NIDA does admit that in some cases in the disease of addiction, genetics plays absolutely no role:

Sometimes people do choose behaviors that have undesirable effects. Personal responsibility and behavioral change are major components of any credible treatment program.

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