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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Addiction: Disease or Choice

The debate isn't just among those of us who have children/family members. Apparently the debate rages in the medical community as well. I found this a thought provoking and interesting article. Just scroll down past the stupid ads....(I hate ads) to the meat of the article. I won't violate anyone's copyrights, so just click on this link Drug Addiction Choice or Disease


  1. Each side always presents the same arguments. Which ever viewpoint you favor, it's almost impossible to change someone's mind.

    I personally don't believe the addict/alcoholic is enjoying themselves. My son says it is a terrible life, and he wouldn't have lived that way if he could have just stopped.

  2. I believe that it is both a disease and a choice. There is no cure as in a procedure or operation. The cure is a concious decision to stop supported by a healthy peer group, a higher power and building balance and meaning in life through the steps or some other method.

    I know a few (not many) addicts who have quit without aa/na but the amazing thing is that they created many of the same elements in their lives that these programs teach. The addict is powerless once they use but powerful enough to stay in control through the decision to remain totally abstinent.

    Nobody aspires to be an addict. It is a horrible life. No one wants to be an addict but many want to continue to use. They keep looking for ways to use less, cause less damage but still use. I think calling it a disease relieves some guilt. The addicts are genetically predisposed to this compulsion.WE are not all genetically predisposed. We need to have compassion.

    I am not sober because of my virtue. The fact is that mind altering substances make me very very sick way before they make me high enough to even consider the option of regular use.

    Still, however, the way out of addiction is through their choice and decision. I mostly believe this because all the addicts that I have known who are in recovery agree on it.

    Do some addicts get to the point where recovery is impossible? Well, it is impossible to recover if it kills you first. Other than that, I still maintain that where there is life there is hope.

  3. oh lou. I don't seriously think anyone would choose the life of an addict LOL. Although, oddly enough, my daughter used to make fun of that advertisement that ran about 15 years ago, where a young girl is shown, and she says,

    i want to be a junkie when i grow up.

    my daughter used to say those words in jest, making fun of the commercial. now, it's not funny.

    it was an anti drug commercial.

  4. I struggle with grasping my mind around this whole concept. The article you linked to helped me clarify my thoughts - and I'll hold it for awhile until I get confused again (lol!) For my REALITY, it doesn't really matter if it is a choice or a disease b/c it IS... so I have to deal with it no matter if it's a choice or a disease.
    BUT, when made to give an answer I think it is a disease, BUT, the person made the choice that put the disease into progress. Such as knowing you have a family history of lung cancer then smoking, or knowing you have a risk of diabetes then choosing a diet where you end up with type 2. If an "alcoholic" never has that first drink (being the choice) are they an alcoholic? But then having made that choice, kicks into gear whatever is already in their body (like bringing it out of remission) then they have the disease... I don't know if this is making sense. I'm just trying to get out my thoughts/opinions on the topic :)

    I also don't think anyone "wants" that life anymore than they "want" any other life-threatening illness. But, I think it "starts" b/c they don't realize the chance it might happen to them - like how I got pregnant when I was 18 - somehow I "knew" I could get pregnant, but didn't "comprehend" that I would...

    Just my opinions :)
    God bless.

  5. I'm pretty much right there on the page with everyone else.

    1. It doesn't matter, it is what it is.

    the only really interesting part I found was the statement (paraphrasing here) about the ability and mindset of the addict to say "oh, it's not MY fault, I have a disease...."

    You all know how I feel about the new religion of 'victimology'....

    I smoke. I'm addicted. It's MY fault I cannot breathe.