At GO SOBER, we believe addiction is a condition caused by repetitive behavior. We disagree with the conventional definition and therefore treat it very differently. Here is the traditional definition…

1. ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) Definition

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

And here’s ours…

2. GO SOBER Definition

The point you reach when you can’t choose not to think about drinking.

So you see, we disagree with ASAM’s definition. Addiction is a condition, not a disease. You can’t catch addictions; you have to develop them over time. There’s a direct, cause and effect relationship between what happens when a person consumes alcohol regularly and their declining ability to produce reward chemistry naturally. When the condition develops, it’s very difficult to abstain for very long. It’s this condition that needs to be treated before success is likely.