With the drug epidemic ravaging big and small towns alike, some people may wonder—is drug addiction a mental illness? The medical community has studied this question for several years. They’ve written about it and discussed it too. At an Arizona drug detox center, medical professionals use a scientific perspective when dealing with people who are struggling with drug addiction. Let’s look more closely at the science of this issue.

Is Drug Addiction a Mental Illness?

Many people may think that addicted people are just weak people that don’t have any willpower to quit their bad habits. Or, they may think that people simply don’t have the desire to quit using drugs.

However, doctors and researchers began investigating why people have such a hard time quitting drugs. They questioned if drug addiction was a disease and wondered— is drug addiction a mental illness? These questions spurred their research and brought about some answers.

The short answer is that drug addiction is more complicated than what people once thought. It is not a simple issue with clear black and white answers. Additionally, everyone is unique and responds differently to drug use.

To understand the answer to this question, you need to understand how drugs work on the brain and body. Drugs, when taken over an extended period or in higher quantities, change the way the brain functions. It also changes parts of the brain.

The National Institute of Mental Health has categorized drug addiction as a mental health condition. The reason for the classification is because once someone becomes addicted to drugs, their natural desires and emotions change. In fact, according to the American Psychiatric Association, people with addiction problems who have undergone an MRI will show changes in the brain. These changes have to do with memory, decision making, learning, and self-control.

Dual Diagnosis with Drug Addiction

In addition, to the fact that addiction is a mental illness, people who are addicted to drugs often have another mental illness. A dual diagnosis is common among those with substance use disorder. This may be, in part, because people with another mental illness may use drugs to self-medicate, which can then lead to a substance use disorder.

On the other hand, sometime people who develop substance use disorder may go on to get other mental illnesses. For example, some drugs may induce anxiety. Over time, this can lead to an anxiety disorder.

Find Hope at Gallus Detox Centers

At Gallus Detox, we understand the answer to — is drug addiction a mental illness? Our compassionate staff will treat you with respect and dignity while providing you with premium care. Our luxury detox center in Arizona is equipped to handle all substance abuse disorders. We have programs such as:

If you are dealing with drug addiction, don’t allow yourself to feel like a failure. There is hope for a happier tomorrow. By reaching out today, you are taking that first step to healing yourself from this problem. Now that you know—is drug addiction a mental illness, seek treatment at a quality detox center. Call us today at 888.306.3122, and we’ll help you along the journey.