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Could addiction be classed as a mental illness?

Unfortunately, there is still the huge stigma around addiction that people suffering from an addiction should not be entitled to the same level of sympathy as those suffering from other mental health issues. This is because some do not view addiction as a genuine mental health issue and see it rather as a result of selfish pleasure seekers having no discipline. Nevertheless, perceptions are changing – slowly but surely.

Given that last Saturday marked the return of World Mental Health Day – an annual global acknowledgement of mental health education, awareness and advocacy, Martin wanted to explore the close relationship between addictive behaviour and mental illness, in order to help dispel any myths around the validity of addiction as a mental health issue.

Addiction is a chronic disease

Although people are often far less sympathetic towards those battling addiction, it should be understood that the brain has no more control over an addiction than it does with a condition like schizophrenia. Further to this, often people who are considered alcohol dependant are also diagnosed with a secondary illness, such as depression. Therefore, it can be seen that the stigma around addiction is not true.

Could addiction be classed as a mental illness

As our founder, Martin Preston, describes in his latest blog on the Huffington Post, it is for this reason that society must alter its attitude understand the reason behind the causes of addiction. As a whole, we should accept all forms of mental illnesses and encourage people to seek help rather than shun them and put it down to ‘lack of discipline’. After all, you never know when you might require support for a mental health disorder yourself. Read the full blog: ‘Is Addiction a Mental Illness?‘.

How to seek help for alcohol or drug addiction

At Port of Call, our philosophy is about getting people drug and alcohol addiction help with the right solution at the right time. We very much believe that addiction is an illness and, for people who are afflicted, the way forward is to seek professional addiction help and treatment. This treatment could be alcohol or drug rehab, but we are here to help you find the right one

If you or someone you love is struggling, we urge you to reach out for help. We can help you spot the signs of alcoholism or a drug problem. Start by calling us for free today on: 08000029010 and we will work with you to find the most appropriate treatment.

About the author: Martin Preston

Martin is our Founder and Chief Executive. Martin is himself in long term recovery and started Port of Call to help families navigate treatment options. In 2020 Martin will open Delamere Health Ltd, the UK’s first purpose built addiction treatment clinic.

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