Winifred Wheeler Counseling - Comprehensive Counseling Services on the Main LineWinifred Wheeler Counseling - Comprehensive Counseling Services on the Main Line

Understanding Addictions FAQ

What is at the root of addiction?
Addiction is rooted in genetic susceptibility, behavioral patterns, and social influences. If someone's parents or grandparents suffered from addiction, it is quite probable that they may "inherit" tendencies. These tendencies may not necessarily correspond to the actual type of addiction that their relative had. It may manifest itself in a different substance or behavior.

What types of people are susceptible to addiction?
Addiction occurs equally in all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

Can addictions be truly cured?
Addiction is a chronic disease that does not go away, even after an extended period of sobriety. Through focused intention and therapeutic support, an individual can heal the underlying psychological causations of an addiction, which can mitigate the desire for addictive substances. They cannot, however, engage even in casual use of the substance they abused without suffering a relapse.

Willpower vs. disease
Many people believe that addiction is a failure of will power. This is just not so. Addiction has been identified as a disease. In fact, research supports this by concluding that the addict's brain is wired differently from the non-addict. Will power can only be effective once the addictive substance remains out of the body.

What supports recovery?
Very few people are able to stop on their own, in spite of strong resolve. It usually takes a structured program and community based support to achieve sobriety. Addicts who engage in ongoing 12 step programs and periodic treatment have a much greater chance of maintaining long term sobriety or abstinence.


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