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Alcoholism & Drug Addiction

It’s a common as a cold and as deadly as cancer. Yet, it is one disease that regularly goes undiagnosed. Since 1956, the American Medical Association has recognized and defined alcohol addiction as a primary disease, not a secondary symptom of an underlying psychological or medical illness. Today that definition has been extended to define all chemical addictions. The truth is no man or woman, husband or father, boy or girl, brother or sister sets out to become an alcoholic or drug addict. It is a terrible reality. More often people experiment with drugs and alcohol – both addictive substances. Addictive substances act on a single area of the brain called the pleasure center. Addiction disorders are caused by repeated exposure to alcohol or addictive drugs. As the brain becomes accustomed to the presence of the addictive substance, the chemistry of the brain changes and becomes dependent on that substance.  


Without the addictive substance, the brain becomes imbalanced and craves more of the substance to restore its balance. Addictive substances can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and the craving can be overwhelming. In fact, craving can occur long after withdrawal, triggered by seemingly unrelated feelings or events. That’s why addiction disorders tend to be chronic life-long struggles. Addiction disorders are difficult to overcome for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their invisibility. Addiction disorders regularly go undetected until they are well developed and their victims deep within their throes. Worse still, social stigmas attached to these disorders keep people from seeking help even though few, if any, ever recover from this insidious disease without help. Untreated, the result is pain, hospitalization, heartbreak and death.


For information regarding treatment, please contact Gateway toll-free at 1-877-389-9966