Is Addiction a Disease or a Mental Illness?

If the medical community could pinpoint the brain’s coping mechanism for which addiction is born, treatment would not be far behind. To date, this is merely a guessing game on how the traits of addiction can overtake some individuals and not others. However, the fact that different types of addiction plague hundreds of thousands of people each year and is still misunderstood, tends to suggest that we are going down the wrong path.

Genetic Composition

You cannot argue that many people are more susceptible to addiction than others. There are those that can have an alcoholic drink and have no desire for a second drink. The same may apply to the following:

  • Prescription Medication
  • Food
  • Gambling
  • Cigarettes

There is something in the brain receptacles that drives the addict to always want more. Blaming this condition on a lack of self-control is quickly becoming a myth and exploring DNA seems to be the next step.

Programs of Self-Control

Alcoholics Anonymous is an important program that deals with alcoholism and drug addiction through comradery with others that share similar problems. However, the craving seldom diminishes or are quickly replaced with other types of addiction. This rules out the social aspect of the addiction definition.

Smoking Woes

Of all the addictions that are tough to fight, smoking addiction rates high on the list. Some blame the chemical dependency in the nicotine as a cause for repeated use, while others point to anxiety and always having to fiddle with something with their hands. Perhaps the DNA angle can explain certain mental characteristics of those that feel inclined to constantly calm the nerves. These mental issues also include:

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anxiety, Depression and Loneliness

Whatever the reason of feeling compelled to constantly fight off addiction, the answer could very possibly lie in the chemical make-up of an individual’s genetic predisposition. As more and more facts are uncovered in the role of family history and addiction, researching and finding that critical piece of DNA evidence could be the answer. By discovering what link the brain neurons hold that stimulate addiction, an enormous problem in society could be solved.