The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease. Not everyone who consumes drugs or alcohol will become addicted but those who do will become compulsive users despite the consequences. Drugs and alcohol flood the brain’s reward circuit with dopamine. But that initial high can never be reached again so the vicious cycle begins – chasing the high, using more and more. Extended abuse of drugs or alcohol changes the brain structure and how it works, which is why it is characterized as a brain disease.

Addiction and the Impact

A 2014 national survey revealed 21.5 million Americans over the age of 12 had a substance use disorder in the previous year. This is equivalent to around 1 in 12 people. But the impact on lives is far greater. Addiction is destroying family units, causing legal problems, job loss and financial problems.

There is a Way Out

Treating addiction is complex and requires a comprehensive, individualized plan that not only addresses the addiction but any co-occurring mental health disorders. JourneyPure Serenity Network operates under a Dual Diagnosis model where a multidisciplinary team of medical and psychiatric professionals work together to provide the best care possible. Call our admissions team today to discuss options for you or a loved one.

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