There has been a major debate over drug abuse since the disease model of addiction first came to be. Some people believe that addiction is a medical condition, one that can be professionally diagnosed and successfully treated but never entirely cured. Others believe addiction is a matter of weak will and failed moral standing. These people believe addiction is a choice, and when presented with a good enough reason, people can quit on their own.
At Agape Treatment Center, we take the medical and scientifically proven stance — addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease. What exactly does this mean when it comes to the development of addiction? It means that while picking up a drug is a choice initially, over time, drug use becomes entirely compulsive, and the person no longer has a choice in the matter. Some people have a range of risk factors that make them more susceptible to the development of addiction. These risk factors include genetic predisposition, environmental factors, underlying mental illness, chronic health conditions, and the age at which they began using drugs.
The younger a person is when they start using drugs, the more likely they are to develop a substance abuse disorder later on in life. This is especially true of people under the age of 18, seeing as their brains are still developing. So with all of this being said — is it possible to avoid drug abuse? Or are some people fated to misuse chemical substances no matter how hard they attempt to prevent it?
Of course, it is entirely possible for anyone to avoid drug abuse successfully — all a person has to do is completely avoid picking up a chemical substance over the course of their entire life. This is especially true of people with the above-listed risk factors. The best way to avoid the misuse of drugs is to avoid using drugs at all—total abstinence. Unfortunately, maintaining total abstinence is not always possible, seeing as circumstances present themselves, and most people experiment with drug use (recreationally) at one point or another (often during adolescence and young adulthood). If you or someone you know has developed an addictive disorder, the most important step you can take is to reach out for help. We are available to help whenever you make the decision to make initial contact.
How to Avoid Drug Abuse if You Have Risk Factors
If you have one or several risk factors for substance abuse, it is best to stay away from chemical substances entirely. However, there are multiple reasons why a person with risk factors will pick up a drug, even though they might develop a physical and psychological dependency more easily than others. For example, they might have an underlying mental illness that they are attempting to self-medicate, or they might be attempting to cope with extremely high-stress levels.
If you or someone you love has been abusing drugs or any other chemical substance, the most important step you can take is reaching out for help. Once professional help has been sought, it is important to explore the potential causes of the development of substance abuse disorder. At Agape Treatment Center, we take ample time to help each of our clients identify the root cause of their addictive disorder. Not only does doing so help clear the path to recovery, but clients learn which life events (people, places, and things) might trigger a relapse, and they effectively learn to work through all of these potential relapse triggers.
Agape Treatment Center, Drug Abuse and Addiction Recovery
At Agape Treatment Center, we care less about how an addictive disorder developed and more about trading addiction at the root cause. Regardless of how you or your loved one began using drugs and what elements were at play, we utilized a combination of intensive therapy, psychiatric services, and proven medication-assisted treatment options to provide mental, emotional, and physical healing for every one of our clients. Contact us today if you want to learn more about Agape Treatment Center and our drug addiction recovery program.
Stephanie Catalano is an accomplished Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare. With a Master of Social Work degree, LCSW license, and extensive training in Rapid Resolution Therapy under her belt, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Her unique combination of education and experience allows her to provide exceptional care to clients and lead her team with confidence. Stephanie’s joy comes from witnessing the moments when her patients creatively connect the dots and bravely move toward reclaiming their power. Her purpose is to help individuals understand their past so they can create a future full of hope, growth, and success. Stephanie attributes a large portion of her success to the supportive culture and strong sense of community fostered by the Agape team.