You CAN live a SOBER LIFE again - CALL NOW for treatment options
1-800-259-1361

Is Drug Addiction a Choice?

 

Most individuals use medicines as directed by their physicians. Nevertheless, millions of American citizens have admitted to taking prescription drugs for reasons that have nothing to do with maintaining health, and millions more struggle with addiction to illegal substances. Drug abuse is a serious issue in the U.S. and it is increasing at an alarming rate. However, many individuals wonder whether or not this destructive behavior is a choice or a disease. This topic has been hotly debated by many experts and opinions continue to vary.

Disease Versus an Act of Will

Because those who are addicted to drugs experience many physical and mental symptoms as a direct result of their problem, the theory was formed several decades ago that substance abuse is an illness, rather than an act of will. Those who promote this philosophy claim that drug problems share numerous features with chronic illnesses, such as being influenced by environmental conditions, the tendency of substance abuse to run in families, and the fact that with appropriate treatment it can be controlled.

However, although the disease model has been widely embraced over time, some experts, such as Doctor Lance Dodes, a Psychology Today Magazine contributor, states that this theory requires a willingness to ignore facts. For example, he states that contracting a disease does not involve the human will and is therefore not a choice, as opposed to taking prescription medication inappropriately or trying illegal substances, actions that both involve a distinct act of the will. A disease, as defined in medical terminology, is caused by an infectious agent, such as the germ that causes pneumonia, a biologically degenerative condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a pathological biological process, such as diabetes.

Substance abuse, Dodes states, on the other hand is a group of behaviors, rather than a disease on its own. Certain experts agree with this theory as it appears to be more fact-based than the disease model. When judging from a black-and-white perspective, it is true that the only “disease like” aspect associated with substance abuse is that if individuals with this problem do to not seek treatment, their lives and health will degenerate.

Deciding to Get Help

It is essential for anyone with a substance abuse problem to seek treatment as soon as possible. This is because few or no individuals can realistically solve their own problem and cure themselves without professional intervention. Although it may disrupt the person’s life temporarily, particularly if he or she works full-time or must care for children, the cost of pursuing such help is not very high when one considers the personal and financial losses associated with long-term substance abuse.

By enrolling in an appropriate program, those suffering from addiction can acquire the proper skills needed to change their perspective on life and find fulfillment and happiness naturally, rather than depending on a drug to create a false euphoria. True recovery can be achieved by anyone struggling with a substance abuse problem. Therefore, such individuals should not procrastinate, but rather seek help as soon as possible.

Sources:

http://www.thecleanslate.org/myths/addiction-is-not-a-brain-disease-it-is-a-choice/
http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/addiction/addiction-choice
http://archives.drugabuse.gov/about/welcome/aboutdrugabuse/chronicdisease/

Related Articles

Being Married to an Addict In 2010, I was living with my mom, my stepdad, and my 5-year-old son, and I needed a job not only to support my son, but to help pay for the bills and to drink alcohol. My mom actually recommended tha...
The Long -Term Effects of Heroin Heroin is one of the most addictive substances in the world. In 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use estimated  that over 650,000 people in the United States had used the drug in the preceding year. ...
Ending the Stigma of Addiction When I first realized I had a problem with alcohol, I didn’t tell a soul. In fact, I suffered alone for many years, terrified that someone might notice my problem. I hid my addiction from everyone in ...
Recycle Your Emotional Pain: It Has Purpose It doesn’t take long living on this earth to realize that along with the joy and love that we experience, we also encounter a lot of emotional pain and discomfort. These contrasting emotions are all p...
Quitting Drinking is Just the Beginning Quitting drinking for good can certainly be tough. It’s no secret that it can take many relapses to finally make that break for good and when you do, it can feel quite amazing. Keep in mind, however, ...
The Importance of Humor in Recovery A horse walks into a bar and the bartender asks, “Why the long face?” There is no shortage of alcohol-fueled humor in the world. The foibles and misfortunes of drunken characters provide endless ma...
Detox and Stabilizing Without Insurance As an addictions counselor, rarely a day goes by that I’m not hearing from someone (usually a family member) with an urgent request: “How do we get into rehab without insurance or money to pay?” Th...
Non-Addictive Painkillers on the Horizon For many years, opioid analgesics have been considered the gold standard as treatment for chronic or severe pain. Unfortunately, their use often comes at a terrible price. This is because they are the...
The Inspiration of Watching a Recovering Addict Struggle I consider myself to be one of the luckiest women in the world, having found my other half. He is not perfect, but he is perfect for me. He used to have a massive drug habit, but he has been recovered...
Why Mobile Games Are So Addictive Gaming is now the largest entertainment industry worldwide, with an estimated 1.2 billion people now playing some sort of video game on a regular basis. About 966 million of these people play mobile g...
How to Involve Family in Your Addiction Recovery There is an art to hiding addiction. I liken it to a snapshot that is continually being Photoshopped. The original image is marked with scars, bruises, cuts, and dark undereye circles. As the addictio...
Prescription Opioid Abuse Legislation, CARA, Gaining Ground Prescription Drug Abuse Is a Growing Problem Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused class of drugs in the United States. Although most people only take prescription drugs that are pres...