chronic, often-relapsing brain disease
Alcohol and drug addiction can be broken into two categories: abuse and dependence.
Substance abuse is the recurring use of alcohol or drugs despite negative consequences. Substance dependence is a pattern of the use of alcohol or drugs (including prescription medications) leading to significant impairment or distress as manifested by three or more of the following behaviors: 1) loss of control (drinking or using more than intended); 2) preoccupation (spending time obtaining or thinking about the substance); 3) increase in tolerance (more of the substance is needed to obtain the same effects); 4) blackouts (memory lapses after heavy use of substances); 5) solitary use (using substances when alone); 6) self-medicating (using substances to numb or change feelings); and 7) hiding supply (keeping drugs or alcohol hidden from others).
Alcohol and/or drug addiction are long-term chronic diseases, not a result of weakness or a lack of willpower. It has a course that can be predicted, has known symptoms; and it is influenced by genes, life situations, and brain activity.
The Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program at The New Leaf Center begins with an evaluation to identify the appropriate level of care. Specific recommendations and treatment plans are formulated to address physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual problem areas; how clients have been affected by the disease of addiction; and how it has impacted others in their lives. Attendance at 12-step meetings is also recommended.