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Doctor insights on: Is Drug Addiction A Mental Illness Or A Personal Choice

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Dr. Vasu Brown
612 doctors shared insights

Addiction (Definition)

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. A person affected by addiction will be unable to consistently Abstain from use, will have Impaired Behavioral control, will have Craving or increased "hunger" for drugs or rewarding experiences, will have a Dysfunctional Emotional response, and will show diminished recognition of significant problems with their own ...Read more


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Do you think drug addiction is a mental illness or a choice?

Do you think drug addiction is a mental illness or a choice?

Addiction= disease: Addiction is a disease like diabetes and hypertension. The only choice is whether to ask for help. ...Read more

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Is it possible to commit an adult to rehab for mental illness & drug addiction when they wont?

Is it possible to commit an adult to rehab for mental illness & drug addiction when they wont?

Involuntary commit: All states have provisions for involuntary commitments of patients who are a danger to themselves, eg suicide, or to others. If this is the case call 911. ...Read more

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Do you think drug addiction is a mental illness treatable with ssri's?

Do you think drug addiction is a mental illness treatable with ssri's?

Yes and no: It is absolutely a disease with well documented brain abnormalities. Not only have ssris not helped (unless co-occurring anxiety or depression ) but some studies show increased usage when patients are given these agents. ...Read more

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Is substance abuse a form of mental illness?

Is substance abuse a form of mental illness?

Both: Mental illness and substance abuse (sa) can be co- occurring disorders. Sa by itself can be seen as a mental illness. Some conditions like depression and anxiety can be causative factors or can be as a result of the substance being used. However the chemical dependency is usually treated first. Then it is easier to know if its a cause or an effect. Getting clean is the path as u treat the others. ...Read more

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How can I help my son who is 20 with his dual problem (substance abuse and mental illness)?

How can I help my son who is 20 with his dual problem (substance abuse and mental illness)?

ASk him: Does he want help? If he does not sadly there is not a lot you can force on him as he is an adult. If he is open to help make an appointment with your physician and/or a psychiatrist. You may also find that acupuncture and chinese medicine help by helping the body balance...Again only if he goes and is compliant. He may also benefit form medication. I am also a big fan of prayer. ...Read more

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What's the biggest contributing factor mentally as an illness that often enables drug addiction?

What's the biggest contributing factor mentally as an illness that often enables drug addiction?

Many factors: When it comes to drug use, the causes are likely multifactorial. Being genetically predisposed, being raised by addicted parents, learning to use substances to cope, not learning to cope with feelings. Etc, etc. The important thing is really not what caused the problem, but getting help to fix it. ...Read more

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Are drug-alcohol addictions a diagnosed mental illness? Is it a way of life that may involve disorders?

Are drug-alcohol addictions a diagnosed mental illness? Is it a way of life that may involve disorders?

Addiction+ diagnosis: Addiction to substances of all kinds are listed in a section of the diagnostic & statistical manual (dsm). However, addictions to alcohol and other drugs are actually a metabolic disorder wherein the brain does not process alcohol or other mood altering substances in a normal way. ...Read more

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Is drug addiction is a choice or a disease?

Is drug addiction is a choice or a disease?

Disease: It is often described as a chronic relapsing brain disease. Nobody chooses to become an addict. ...Read more

Dr. Vasu Brown
221 doctors shared insights

Substance Abuse (Definition)

Substance abuse refers to a dependence on a harmful or addictive substance, most often drugs or alcohol. The substance is often used to suppress difficult feelings and results in impaired intimate and work relationships. Substance abuse is diagnosed by observing the pattern of use, looking for tolerance, and withdrawal upon halting the use of the substance. Recovery begins with the substance abuser admitting being out of control and ...Read more


Dr. Adam Tripp
203 doctors shared insights

Mental Disorder (Definition)

A mental disorder is psychological condition or set of behaviors that either causes the individual emotional distress and/or results in impairment in various ...Read more