When did addiction get classified as a disease?

The American Medical Association (AMA) classified alcoholism as a disease in 1956 and included addiction as a disease in 1987.Others argue that addiction is not a disease because some people with addiction get better without treatment. Most medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society for Addiction Medicine, define addiction as a disease. Understanding and accepting addiction as a disease does not justify this behavior, but it may serve to alleviate the destructive self-judgment that accompanies addiction. In turn, the brain of a person with an addiction responds differently in terms of “choice” and “free will” than the brain of a person who does not have an addiction.

For them, addiction is a progressive and recurrent illness that requires intensive treatments and ongoing aftercare, monitoring and family or peer support to manage their recovery. In recent years, clinical leaders have tried to adapt intervention approaches to specific influences affecting addictive behavior, using therapeutic interviews in an effort to discover the factors that led a person to adopt addictive and unhealthy sources of pleasure or to alleviate pain. Perhaps the most accepted addiction model today is the disease model, in which addiction is defined as a disease that involves biological and genetic factors. Compared to the past, ideas about addiction have changed dramatically and have led to greater public awareness, a decrease in stigma, an increase in research, and the development of successful prevention efforts and treatment methods.

People with addiction can still stop using substances, it's just much harder than for someone who hasn't become addicted. Addiction Center receives advertising payments from treatment providers who respond to chat requests on websites and is not associated with any specific treatment provider. The Addiction Center does not endorse any treatment center or guarantee the quality of care provided or the results that will be obtained at any treatment center. People with the most severe form of addiction usually need intensive treatment followed by lifelong treatment of the disease.

These 13 principles of effective drug addiction treatment were developed based on three decades of scientific research. The Addiction Center receives advertising payments from treatment centers that respond to calls to the toll-free numbers listed on the websites and is not associated with any specific treatment provider. While many people don't get the treatment they need for their illnesses, you can get help for their addiction.