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Is Addiction a Disease?

Is Addiction a Disease?

Addiction is a result of several variables, just as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. These encompass biological, behavioral, psychological, and environmental elements. At Westfall Associates, Charles L. Montante, MS, CASAC, LMHC, and his team can guide you through the process step by step. Contact us or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 919 Westfall Rd Building B, Suite 60, Rochester, NY 14618.

Is Addiction a Disease? | Westfall Associates
Is Addiction a Disease? | Westfall Associates

Table of Contents:

Are people with addiction responsible for their actions?
What are the signs that someone has an addiction problem?
What treatments are available for addiction at Westfall Associates?
Can drug use and addiction be prevented?

Are people with addiction responsible for their actions?


Addressing whether people with addiction are responsible for their actions can be as complex as addiction itself. Addiction is a medical disease, a chronic condition affecting brain function, memory, motivation, and related circuitry.

This dysfunction leads to significant behavioral and physical changes and can impact anyone. As addiction progresses, it becomes an uncontrollable habit, leading individuals to pursue substance use despite the damage to their well-being and that of others around them. This can manifest physically, emotionally, and financially, among other ways.

Addiction influences changes in the brain, restructuring how it functions and altering communication systems, thereby adjusting how the brain receives and processes information. This often results in a greater desire for the substance, impacting the individual’s ability to control their behavior, make decisions, and retain memories.

Understanding this, it’s crucial not to enable the behavior of a person with addiction but to help them confront the truth of their addiction and take responsibility for their actions.

Viewing addiction through the lens of disease, rather than simply passing judgment, can lead to more effective interventions and treatment approaches.

What are the signs that someone has an addiction problem?


Identifying signs of addiction can vary widely due to the diverse nature of addictions and substances involved. Common indicators include physical changes such as appearing consistently tired, having bloodshot eyes, experiencing skin tone deterioration, and fluctuations in weight.

A noticeable decline in grooming and hygiene can also be a sign, as well as changes in social behavior, such as avoidance or unusual conduct in social settings. Addiction can also manifest alongside difficulties at work or school, as it often becomes all-encompassing, adversely impacting all aspects of an individual’s life.

Relationships may suffer, and financial management issues may arise. Since addiction can influence various aspects of life, it’s important to monitor for these symptoms in oneself or a loved one.

What treatments are available for addiction at Westfall Associates?


Westfall Associates recognizes addiction as a disease, and recovery from it as a highly personalized journey. They offer a range of treatment options tailored to individual needs. A foundational element of most addiction treatment plans is some form of talk therapy, which can occur in individual or group settings and may involve various types of behavioral therapy.

Additionally, if the addiction is related to or exacerbated by underlying mental health issues, psychiatric services may be included in the treatment plan to address those conditions.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is increasingly popular in managing addiction, contrasting with purely abstinence-based approaches. MAT takes a comprehensive and scientific approach to treating drug addiction, considering it a disease that requires an integrated treatment strategy.

Can drug use and addiction be prevented?


Preventing drug use and addiction can be challenging, as nearly everyone is exposed to drugs at some point in their lives, including medically prescribed drugs. There is no guaranteed method for preventing addiction, but certain steps can help minimize the risk. Avoiding recreational drug use is crucial, and for parents, it is important to talk to children about the risks and maintain an open dialogue.

For young people, resisting peer pressure and building healthy friendships and relationships are key preventive measures. Being aware of risk factors and seeking assistance for underlying mental health conditions can also help reduce the likelihood of drug use and addiction, as these issues are often intertwined.

Practicing positive coping skills for life’s stressors and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can assist individuals in avoiding patterns of stress that lead to or increase susceptibility towards drug use.

For those prescribed addictive drugs for medical reasons, open communication with physicians and strict adherence to their instructions regarding administration and dosage is vital to prevent the risk of developing an addiction.

In cases where signs or symptoms of addiction develop, seeking treatment is crucial. Consulting specialists at Westfall Associates is a proactive step toward managing addiction and regaining control of one’s life.

Our cutting-edge treatment facility is committed to helping people who are addicted. The many facilities at our facility, along with the individualized care we provide, enable therapy to proceed comfortably and naturally, establishing the groundwork for a long-lasting recovery. Contact us today, or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 919 Westfall Rd Building B, Suite 60, Rochester, NY 14618. We serve patients from Rochester NY, Brighton NY, West Henrietta NY, East Rochester NY, Irondequoit NY, and the surrounding areas.

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Westfall Associates

  • 919 Westfall Road Building B, Suite 60 Rochester, NY 14618
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919 Westfall Road Building B,
Suite 60 Rochester, NY 14618