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New Residency for Medical Professionals to Specialize in Addiction

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New Residency for Medical Professionals to Specialize in Addiction

The debate that has been taking place over the past fifteen years when it comes to alcoholism and drug addiction is whether it is a disease or just a weakness in character that can be overcome with merely will power and self determination. Over the years medical research has backed up the hypothesis that addiction is a disease. The New York Times recently reported that ten different medical institutions including Boston University have started the first programs of study where doctors who have already completed medical school will be able to spend a complete year studying the correlation between the brain and addiction. The main purpose behind these new one year programs is to help bring respect and notoriety to addiction medicine. In addition hopefully addiction medicine will begin to become a specialty in the world of medicine much like an oncologist or cardiologist. Medical professionals who are backing up these new programs argue that in order to effectively treat addiction treatment needs to be ongoing if relapse is going to be avoided. Dr. Daniel Alford who runs the new program at Boston University Medical Center compares treating addiction to the likes of treating diseases like asthma, or diabetes which are diseases that cannot necessarily be cured but can definitely be managed with the proper medical attention. Many individuals have been able to recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol through the course of addiction treatment followed by continuing support of twelve step fellowships. Just like the person who has asthma and can play sports as long as they take care of themselves, a person who suffers from addiction may never be “cured” but with proper help and support can live life that is happy, productive, and free of chemical dependency.


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