The biologic effects of substance use are so severe that the American Society of Addiction Medicine has declared addiction a chronic disease. Leading brain scientists believe addiction involves dysfunction in brain synapses affecting a person's perception of pleasure and reward.
Standard solutions (rehab and detox) may not be enough to address the complex, chronic, and ongoing nature of addiction. Medical professionals recommend a proactive and multifaceted approach, which can include therapy, support groups, meditation, exercise, and compliance management.
If you know someone battling addiction, there are steps that are helpful to take beyond detox. Navigating recovery should be handled similarly to managing chronic conditions. Don't hesitate to lean on Wellthy and other resources to prevent relapse and help fight the epidemic.
Graph above provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse