Addiction is often defined incorrectly as a poor behavioral pattern, when in fact it is a chronic disease. Behavioral patterns are indeed part of the picture, but the psychological root of these patterns and the physical effect they have on the body are of greater concern. Addiction, to both drugs and alcohol, is a disease that affects its victims twofold – as an allergy of the body as well as an affliction of the mind.
Most people have a fairly accurate conception of the physical aspect of addiction. As the body becomes used to regular intake of a foreign substance, it adjusts its definition of normality to include the presence of this substance. Therefore, the same quantity of the substance ceases to produce a high, requiring more and more of the drug to obtain the same effect. This phenomenon is usually described as an increase in tolerance. The same principal of the body growing accustomed to a substance’s presence is responsible for the withdrawal symptoms addicts experience upon sobering up. This physical reaction to the absence of a substance ranges from unpleasant to excruciatingly painful and dangerous. Both 30 day treatment centers and 90 day treatment centers offer intensive medical supervision for addicts undergoing the withdrawal process.
The psychological component of addiction is less widely understood, and is often ignored completely. 90 day treatment centers design their programs to account for the psychological conditions that often precede drug and alcohol abuse, as well as the unhealthy thinking patterns that develop as addiction takes hold. Drugs and alcohol often come into play when individuals suffer from preexisting mental conditions like chronic depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. These substances function as self-prescribed medications, allowing their users to escape temporarily from the condition that plagues them. However, the relief provided by drugs and alcohol is short-lived. The brain adapts to drugs in the same fashion as the body, redefining its normal state to include a foreign substance, thereby increasing tolerance and causing mental collapse upon discontinuation of consumption.