Experts Say Addiction is a Mental Disease

By Staff Writer

Individuals who seek substance abuse treatment for their addiction stand a much better chance of recovering than those who go it alone. However, too few people realize that drug addiction is a mental illness that is hard to overcome without treatment.

Experts say that addiction is similar to any other disease. If it is not treated, it will only grow worse. Problems arise when addicts begin to think that they can overcome their dependency through willpower or some other means.

Scot Adams, the director of the Division of Behavioral Health of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, told the Chadron Record that these people would be much better off seeking substance abuse treatment.

In addition to benefiting their own lives, Adams said that quitting improves the lives of addicts’ family members. He called recovery the “bright side” of addiction.

More than 19,000 deaths occur in the U.S. each year as a result of drug use, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, recognizing addiction as a medical condition could help more individuals enter substance abuse treatment and reduce this number.