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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Addiction Science People Can Understand

If substance use disorder or SUD is a part of your or a loved one’s life, please do not wait to seek help. Like any health condition that can result in premature death, the longer a person remains unchecked, the worse the symptoms become. When it comes to the progression of addiction, it isn’t a question of if but rather when — fortunately, evidence-based therapies exist to help people recover. Those who seek addiction treatment have an opportunity to lead a wholly new existence, and repair both physical and mental damage caused by prolonged substance use.

While researchers and doctors have a reasonably comprehensive understanding about the disease of addiction, the same cannot be said for the general public. Everyone has an opinion about the mechanisms of addiction; some consider it a mental health condition whereas others view it as a lack of willpower — despite evidence to the contrary. Misunderstandings and misconceptions about mental illness have long played a role in contributing to the age-old stigma of addiction. It’s vital that policymakers and health experts do what they can to educate the public about this most severe disorder and encourage those living with SUD to seek help.

Conceptualizing addiction in the brain isn't easy to wrap one’s head around. After all, neurochemistry isn’t a prerequisite for most college degrees. Many people know what the disease looks like symptomatically from firsthand experience or what one sees a loved one go through. Even still, such people may have a hard time making sense of substance use disorder development and progression. A new cartoon series produced by the Addiction Policy Forum aims to bring the disease into more precise focus.

APF Turns The Science of Addiction Into Stories That Stick

The Addiction Policy Forum is a community of organizations, policymakers, and stakeholders working together to educate the public about substance use disorder. What’s more, the Washington DC-based collective takes substance use disorder discoveries and turns them into methods that can help people struggling with, or in recovery from addiction.

Over the course of a month, the Addiction Policy Forum is releasing short info-toons about addiction and recovery. Now in its third week, viewers can learn more about the disease as long as YouTube is accessible. “Addiction” is animated by artist Patrick Smith and the episodes are as follows:
  1. Episode I: The Hijacker, or How addiction changes brain function.
  2. Episode II: Whirlpools of Risk, or Risk factors for developing substance use disorder (SUD)
  3. Episode III: Understanding Severity, or Why addiction treatment can’t be one-size-fits-all.
  4. Episode IV: Don’t Wait for ‘Rock Bottom,’ or Why engaging in treatment as early as possible is so important.
“There’s so much misinformation about this disease, everything from this being a choice and not a disease, the misunderstanding about how treatment works, misunderstandings about medications, about lengths of treatment and recovery support, how you develop this disease in the first place,” Addiction Policy Forum president, Jessica Hulsey Nickel, tells The Chicago Tribune. “We are surrounded and drowning in misinformation and myths.”

Please take a moment to view the available segments:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.


Addiction Recovery Support

The Haven at Pismo offers clients a multi-faceted, outcome-focused program for treating substance use and/or co-occurring disorders. If you would like to learn more about our specialized therapies and what sets us apart from other treatment centers, please contact us today. The Haven is the perfect place to renew you to your best today.