Addiction Is Not A Progressive Disease

Addiction is defined as out-of-control substance use and the inability to stop. However, just because we are unable to stop today does not mean that we will be unable to control or stop our use tomorrow. THE HUMAN BRAIN IS NOT STATIC. The erroneous assumption that the human brain is static with regard to all things except substance use has led to unlimited nonsense in the world of substance use treatment. Our brains/minds change as we get older and more mature and when we reach a certain point we may decide to quit a problematic behavior because we have out grown it. According to the NIAAA more than half of people with alcohol dependence recover on their own without AA or alcoholism treatment.

http://www.spectrum.niaaa.nih.gov/features/alcoholism.aspx

There are more ex-smokers today than current smokers and the vast majority have quit on their own. The research also suggests that the majority of heroin addicts stop on their own when they are ready.

Substance use changes the brain, but so does everything else from prayer and meditation

http://andrewnewberg.com/

to driving a taxi cab in London

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/677048.stm

The normal outcome of addiction is recovery without treatment. The goal of treatment should be to speed natural recovery

Copyright © 2012, The HAMS Harm Reduction Network

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About Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson is the author of the book How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol. He is also the founder and CEO of The HAMS Harm Reduction Network.
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