ALCOHOL AND YOUR BRAIN
The chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to drug abuse is not only possible, but likely. Relapse rates (i.e., how often symptoms occur) for drug addiction are similar to those for other well-characterized chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components. Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment failure. For the addicted patient, lapses back to drug abuse indicate that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed.
You may have heard this expression: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." This statement by Albert Einstein has been repeated by addicts for decades. The only problem is that it's not true. While in the throes of an addictive episode, however, a person loses the ability to reason properly. While in this state, a person can be described as being mentally ill, the same way a person diagnosed as schizophrenic, for example, cannot reason properly. Drugs and drinking, in excess, thus do, in a sense, create mental illness.
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