When it comes to defining terms in the addiction treatment world, some definitions are straightforward, while others leave room for interpretation. Many people define addiction differently, but not every definition is concise or even correct. Without a clear understanding of addiction, recovery can be difficult. How can one determine which addiction definition is correct?
Defining Addiction— The Basics
A basic dictionary definition of addiction is the uncontrollable need for a substance. Addiction develops after consistent substance use. Additionally, all definitions of addiction point to it being harmful—and in some cases deadly. However, addiction is even more complex than this.
Digging Deeper into the Addiction Definition
Although we can simplify the definition, addiction isn’t simple. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic brain disease. It’s a dysfunction within the brain’s circuits that control motivation, memory, and reward. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that addiction is a disease because it changes the brain’s structure. This change in how the brain works often leads to remission and relapse. Furthermore, these changes to brain structure can be long-term and can lead to serious changes in behavior.
The addiction definition can also include characteristics, such as:
- Difficulty managing emotions
- Difficulty maintaining work, family, and social obligations
- Continued substance use despite adverse consequences
An even more in-depth definition also points to the factors surrounding addiction. These factors help define the likelihood that an individual will develop an addiction.
Experts believe genetics play a major role. An individual’s environment can also determine his or her potential for addiction. Other factors include trauma, unhealthy relationships, prolonged exposure to substances and other underlying issues with the brain. These factors increase someone’s risk of developing an addiction problem. Having an understanding of the proper addiction definition can help individuals identify and fight addiction. Knowing why an addiction develops can also help individuals begin their journey to sobriety.
Addiction Recovery at New Bridge Foundation®
Understanding a clear addiction definition is an important part of recovery. New Bridge Foundation® is here to help you overcome your addictions. We understand that there isn’t a cure for addiction, but there are treatment options for sobriety. At New Bridge Foundation®, we offer several services to help battle addiction. These services include:
- Short-term residential treatment (Helios)
- Short-term outpatient program (Helios)
- Long-term residential treatment (START)
Several treatment services are available to individuals including:
- Family program
- Aftercare program
- Group counseling
- Individual counseling
- Holistic treatments
- Dual diagnosis (co-occurring disorders) services
New Bridge Foundation® knows the correct definition of addiction. We also know how to help individuals fight addiction. Call 866-772-8492 today for more information regarding our addiction treatment programs.