Is once an addiction always an addiction?

by Carol
(Balto., MD)

If a person used cocaine (smoking) crack, once in treatment, will they always be an addict?

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No cure for addiction
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Carol.

I'm having little trouble answering your question because I don't know what the person was in treatment for?

One use of a drug does not cause addiction, but conversely someone can become addicted from their first use and they will be unable to stop using the drug.

If a person uses crack cocaine during treatment just one time and one time only they certainly are not addicted to crack. But, they are likely addicted to what ever drug caused them to seek treatment.

For example if they are in treatment for alcoholism they are likely to be addicted to alcohol and need to be careful not to trade one addiction for another.

Many people who are in treatment for heroin addiction replace it with an alcohol addiction because it seems "better" for them. It's not!

The goal of any treatment is to learn how to live free from any addiction. Currently, there is no cure for addiction but it can be managed by the addict if they are willing to work at controlling it.

Therefore using crack cocaine is treatment is a VERY BAD idea and is likely to lead to another addiction.

Hope that helps,

Debbie

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