Drug Addiction Is A Treatable Brain Disease; Treating Addicts Without Moral Judgment? [VIDEO]
Drug addiction is a brain disease and can be treated in much the same way people with cancer and diabetes get treatment. Modern society needs to undergo a cultural shift and look at drug addicts without any moral judgment because, in many cases, the abuser simply cannot stop due to impaired cognitive functioning.
Medical evidence abounds that say drug addiction is a brain disease and yet the general public still consider substance abuse as a form of moral decay. Drug addicts are simply morally weak persons who resort to substance abuse simply because they derive pleasure from it.
However, a study by the US general surgeon Vivek Murthy, has once again reiterated the fact that drug addiction is "not a character flaw, but a chronic illness" as reported by Washington Post. He adds that there are 21 million people who have abused prescription drugs while others intentionally used illegal ones. Yet the number of persons who seek treatment for drug addiction is very low, only 1 out 10.
The low numbers of drug addicts seeking intervention may be attributed to prevailing social stigma on those with addiction problems. They do not come out openly because of a strong sense of shame. This makes the problem even bigger.
Drug addiction is a treatable brain disease. "Unbroken Brain" author Maia Szalavitz even calls it a learning disorder, similar in some aspects with ADHD as reported in Business Insider.
Drug addiction can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a form of psychotherapy, where unhealthy behavioral patterns are replaced with constructive ones and then complemented by medication.
Murthy also calls that screening for addiction should be increased and encouraged. In doing so, people with drug addiction problems will have the help they need, in the same way that health officials provide screening and promote campaigns to treat cancer or diabetes.