Chemical Dependency as a Disease

In order to understand what the Iowa Pharmacy Recovery Network was designed to accomplish, it is first important to understand chemical dependency as a disease. Over 40 years ago, the general population did not accept those with chemical dependency as people who needed to be treated; they simply saw it as a character flaw. Then, in 1956, the American Medical Association formally recognized alcoholism as a disease. If you understand this concept, you will understand the mission of the Iowa Pharmacy Recovery Network.

As Vernon Johnson outlines in his book, Intervention, you would not blame your child for coming down with the flu. Instead, you would take your child to the doctor, have the disease properly diagnosed, and do whatever you could to speed your child on the way to recovery. Similarly, you cannot blame the chemically dependent person for being chemically dependent. What you can do is help him or her to get the care that is needed.


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