What is Addiction/Substance Use Disorder?
The diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction are often referred to as substance use disorders. The disease is both chronic and progressive. A person who has developed the disease of addiction will have it for life. This condition cannot be cured, but it can be treated. The physical, emotional, and social problems associated with addiction/use of substances continue to get worse, are often cumulative, and progress as the use of substances continues.
Addicted people can control their disease by learning better ways to address their problems and by learning ways to avoid returning to the use of alcohol and/or drugs. By achieving an ultimate goal of abstinence, the addicted person can control the disease.
Left untreated, the disease may result in premature death from associated health problems, accidents or other traumatic events. Alcohol and drug addiction treatment has proven to be successful in helping individuals recover from their addiction.