Is Drug Addiction a Disease?

nerves affected by disease

There are some professionals in the drug rehabilitation field that state that addiction is a disease like heart disease or diabetes. This categorization of addiction with physical ailments implies that addiction can be managed with medication. This is a very tidy premise when you want to make it easy to bill insurance plans for addiction treatment.

It is also very often easier and faster to “treat” a person by providing him with a prescription than to help him learn how to address and handle the problems that were created by his addiction. That can be a long task but in the history of the Narconon program, has always been a rewarding one.

Yet rather than dwelling on one’s past failures or inability, at Narconon, the focus is on increasing one’s ability—ability to overcome obstacles, to improve their relationships and handle all aspects of their life.

an unable person

For over five decades, this has been the basic premise of the Narconon program. And year after year, the program has enabled thousands of individuals to return to clean and sober lives once they go home.

Briefly, the Narconon program is composed of the following steps:

  • A drug-free withdrawal step that supports the recovering addict with generous nutritional supplementation and gentle re-orientation exercises and physical assists
  • A communications skills component that helps a person engage once again with his present environment and the people around him
  • A thorough detoxification step that utilizes time in a sauna, moderate exercise and nutritional supplements to flush out old stored drug residues
  • Intensive practical application of communications principles that result in a brighter perception and improved control of one’s person and one’s thoughts
  • Study to achieve an understanding of the different kinds of people one will encounter—those who are safe to associate with and those who will lead to trouble and who could destroy sobriety
  • Study of the principles of personal integrity, how it is lost and how it can be restored, with application to one’s life
  • Learning how any situation can be turned from negative to positive, with application to those areas of life that were damaged by one’s addiction to resolve any situations that remain

Along the way, each person is guided and supported through the choices and decisions he or she must make to fully leave an addictive lifestyle behind. As they make their way through each of these steps, it is remarkable how those further along in the program help and encourage those who are just beginning. Helping others achieve sobriety is also part of each person’s recovery.

Countless individuals have attested to the fact that once completing the Narconon program they no longer felt the need to use drugs and were able to go on living a sober life.

So if restoring personal integrity, doing a thorough detoxification and all the rest results in recovery, then it looks like addiction likely does results from a disability, not a disease of the brain or a chemical imbalance of some kind.

This approach to addiction recovery is called holistic in that is addresses the whole person, his or her entire array of health, problems, and abilities. It is sometimes called alternative or non-traditional because it does not follow the principles of addiction treatment subscribed to by medical schools and government agencies. Their treatment methods may include the prescription of antidepressants or long-term use of the synthetic opiates methadone or buprenorphine, all of which are addictive.

Addiction ruins millions of lives in every corner of our world. Having a successful, drug-free program of recovery, Narconon centers bring this effective program to every continent, along with a drug education curriculum that helps reduce the number of young people starting to use drugs. The goal is a drug-free world. As more people recover from addiction and as more young people make up their minds to avoid drugs, the goal is being achieved.