Addiction: Mental Illness or Learning Disorder? - Banyan Treatment Center

Addiction: Mental Illness or Learning Disorder?


Addiction: Mental Illness or Learning Disorder?

These days, everybody seems to know someone who’s suffering from, or affected by, addiction. What exactly is addiction?

At its core, addiction is the repetition of an action, despite known harmful effects of that action. In terms of substances, addiction is repeated use in spite of known ill effects. Drinking, snorting drugs, injecting drugs, smoking illegal drugs, or taking prescription pills off-label are all actions of addiction. At Banyan Detox Boca Raton, we are here to help addicts and alcoholics break free into sobriety. Our drug and alcohol treatment center in Boca includes support for detoxification, therapy, and more.

It’s important to understand the mechanisms of addiction and alcoholism in order to safely treat these problems. Is addiction a learning disorder? Is it a mental illness? Or, is it something else entirely? At Banyan Detox Boca Raton, we know that addiction is caused by a variety of factors in a person’s life, and the challenges surrounding addiction are different for each individual. For some, chemical imbalances contribute to addiction. For others, there are outside factors that perpetuate the problem. We’ll explore the different arguments for defining addiction below.

Addiction as a Mental Illness

Many medical professionals identify addiction and alcoholism as mental illnesses. They cite several factors in this, including brain imaging studies. These studies show that continued drug or alcohol use can cause changes in areas of the brain responsible for decision making, memory, behavior, and judgement. The view that regards addiction as a mental illness argues that treatment should include some medications to reduce cravings and restore proper chemical balances within the brain and the body. From a physiological standpoint, patients need mental illness and substance abuse help in Boca to find their sobriety.

Addiction as a Learning Disorder

There are others who believe that addiction is not something that needs to be treated with mental health programs in Boca, but rather it is a learning disorder. Addicts and alcoholics do not seem to learn from the dangerous effects of their addiction, even after dangerous overdoses, legal trouble, family struggles, or employment problems. When addiction and alcoholism continue after these consequences, it is often viewed as a learning disorder. This is reinforced by changes in the brain’s wiring, where the addict craves their substance of choice above all else, having learned that this substance is more important than other goals in their life.

Whether you view addiction as a mental illness, a learning disorder, or something different, it is a dangerous problem that needs professional treatment. At Banyan Detox Boca Raton, our drug and alcohol treatment center in Boca includes comprehensive treatments for addiction, alcoholism, and mental health needs.


Call 888-280-4763 to learn more about our programs for mental illness and substance abuse help in Boca.

Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.

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