When physical changes occur in the body, it’s arguably due to a health condition some call a disease. When a person develops a substance addiction – doesn’t their brain undergo physical changes? According to the Surgeon General, this may be the case for addiction. For the first time in over 50-years, the Surgeon General is recommending that addiction is now being reclassified as a chronic brain disease. To some extent, this alleviates the guilt and shame that stigmatizes addiction. It’s unfair to blame a person for their circumstances that led to an addiction as a moral failure. Plenty of people eat the same way and don’t exercise. Some won’t have an imbalance in blood sugar whereas those predisposed to developing Type 2 diabetes will invariably get it. The Surgeon General recommends that evidenced-based intervention programs are the most effective means to begin treating the condition, preferably at an early stage. Hopefully with a new reputation for addiction, skillfully, compassionately, and urgently will be the ways in which people who are afflicted with addiction are treated.
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