Addiction is classified as a disease because it meets the criteria of all other terminal diseases
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- It has pattern of symptoms which are similar across all types of substance abuse
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- It is a chronic condition. It doesn't go away.
- It is progressive. Addiction only gets worse with continued use, and ends with death.
- The person is subject to relapse. In Australia, 66% of addicts who are lucky to live long enough to make it to detox will eventually die as a direct result of the disease.
- It is treatable. Here's the good news -- while substance addiction is a terminal illness, its progression can be arrested at almost any stage.