The disease of addiction
When I entered drug rehab I was under the impression that addiction meant addiction to drugs or alcohol, I never could have imagined the way that the disease manifests in our lives.
In studying about the disease concept you learn that the disease of addiction is not about a particular substance, it centers in our thinking. Substances that addicts can fix on can include anything from drugs and alcohol to shopping, exercise, relationships or food, basically anything that an addict uses in order to not feel feelings and not focus on oneself.
Alcoholics Anonymous founded what they described as a “spiritual malady” or a “two fold disease: allergy of the body and obsession of the mind”. This was later coined the disease concept. A disease can be defined as a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment. This parallels the conditions of the disease of alcoholism and how it is a BIO-PSYCHO-SOCIAL disease. This means that alcoholism can be caused by heredity/ genetics (BIO), psych make-up (PSYCHO) and the environment is which one is raised (SOCIAL). The disease is treatable, but if not treated it results in jails, institutions and death.