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 through substance use and other self-defeating behaviours.
Addiction typically involves substances such as alcohol, opioids, psychiatric medication, and stimulants.
Addiction is also characterized by an individual’s inability to consistently abstain from using substances, impairment in behavioural control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviours and interpersonal relationships and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission.
Without primary addiction treatment or consistent engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in severe personal consequences, disability or even premature death. It’s a worthwhile consideration to arrest this process at some point so that steps toward recovery can be taken – this is where our primary addiction treatment program can really help.