Doctors: addiction is a chronic disease - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Doctors: addiction is a chronic disease

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Addiction to any illicit substance or drug is a disease, and it's one doctors say can take a lifetime to cure and can often be deadly.

"It's got as much to do with chemical changes in your brain as any other disease like cancer, or heart disease or any other illness that you can think of," explains Dr. Kaizah Shroff with Rivertown Psychiatry.

According to Dr. Shroff, once an addict stops using and begins treatment they are considered in remission, a process that can be a daily struggle.

"This disease hijacks our brain and it hijacks the very survival center that keeps us alive and well," added Jeffrey Jenkins with Talbott Recovery Columbus. "And unfortunately, by hijacking it, it basically sentences alcoholics and addicts to death."

Now a case manager with Talbot Recovery, Jenkins said he too struggles with addiction and each day is a constant reminder of the fight against sobriety.

"The most important thing that I do every day, besides getting up and brushing my teeth, is saying a prayer to help keep me sober personally," said Jenkins.

For many, part of that struggle includes relapse. According to Dr. Shroff, addiction happens in cycles that are usually triggered by a stressor or boredom and regardless of the cause, the habit does die hard.

"The average number of times people need to get complete treatment or impatient or outpatient treatment before they stop using drugs is about seven," Dr. Shroff shares. "So, you need to stop and start seven times on average before you stop for good."

In talking with the men, shame was thrown up against addiction, forcing many to keep silent about their struggles.

"There's a lot of shame in this disease and shame kills more alcoholics and addicts than anything else," Jenkins said.

Shame stamps an ugly stigma on the disease Dr. Shroff and Jenkins hope to erase through education.

Dr. Shroff tells me there is a genetic difference in the brains of addictive and non-addictive people. If you're wondering if you have an addiction problem, he suggests asking yourself these four questions:

Do you feel like you should cut back on your usage?
Have people annoyed your by criticizing your usage?
Have your ever felt bad or guilty for using?
Finally, do you have to have it first thing in the morning?

If you need help answering these questions, Talbott Recovery Columbus does addiction assessments free of charge. For more on how to contact the center visit their website at this link. 

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to US

    Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to US

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:53 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:53:22 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 5:54 AM EDT2018-05-28 09:54:40 GMT
    Senator Corker’s office tweeted out an image of Josh Holt and his wife before leaving Venezuela. (Source: Twitter/@SenBobCorker)Senator Corker’s office tweeted out an image of Josh Holt and his wife before leaving Venezuela. (Source: Twitter/@SenBobCorker)

    A Utah man has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges.

    More >>

    A Utah man has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges.

    More >>
  • Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:34 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:34:09 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 5:27 AM EDT2018-05-28 09:27:27 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    More >>

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    More >>
  • LeBron's 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

    LeBron's 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:14 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:14:46 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 5:26 AM EDT2018-05-28 09:26:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James soars to dunk in front of Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) and forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, ...(AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James soars to dunk in front of Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) and forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, ...
    LeBron James scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to earn an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the...More >>
    LeBron James scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to earn an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.More >>
Powered by Frankly