Governments Begin to Recognize Addiction as Chronic Condition

By Staff Writer

Drug rehab workers have long referred to addiction as a mental disease that requires appropriate treatment. However, the condition has failed to receive this recognition from many official governmental bodies.

That is about to change in one of Canada’s provinces, as the Vancouver Sun reports that British Columbia will soon become the first jurisdiction in the country to recognize alcohol addiction as a chronic illness. The province’s health minister said the change would take effect April 1.

Drug rehab treatment centers told the news source that the move will allow doctors to spend more time with patients and treat the condition in a preventative manner, rather than forcing medical professionals to react to the emergencies of addicts.

One doctor said that the change would allow him to start treating alcohol addiction the same way he would treat diabetes or any other chronic condition.

In the U.S., the healthcare reform legislation may go a long way toward encouraging broader recognition of addiction as a chronic illness, according to the American Psychiatric Association.