Addiction Is A Disease, Whether They Choose It Or Not

Addiction Is A Disease, Whether They Choose It Or Not

Scientifically. Medically. Literally. Addiction is a disease.

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Many people have either experienced addiction or watched others go through it. I myself have struggled with addiction in the past, and I have some things to say to everybody who believes drug addiction isn't a disease because it starts with a choice.

A choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision with two or more possibilities. When people decide to do a drug for the first time, they likely are not sitting there thinking, "the possibilities of me doing this are x, y, and z" - they just do it. Now, while somebody should have the thought process including possible outcomes with almost everything they do for sake of responsibility, that's not always how humans act. Humans are impulsive and we like doing things that make us feel good.

The idea of "it isn't a disease because it starts with a choice" is absolutely ridiculous. If your logic is that anything beginning with a choice is a disease, then we need to start cutting out HUGE portions of medical research and evidence-based facts because of your frivolous opinion.

This would mean STD's that could lead to cancer, such as HPV, is not a disease because somebody made the choice to have unprotected sex. This would mean that a disease like bulimia nervosa shouldn't be considered a disease because that person made a choice to throw up their meal. This would mean that you think so many fatal and life-threatening conditions aren't diseases because they start with a choice. It's wrong. People are inclined to still believe HPV, bulimia, etc. are still diseases because we do inherently realize that making a certain choice isn't always asking for a specific outcome. But if they start with a choice, so how are they any different from addiction to a drug?

Another question I have is this: Do you belittle all addicts or just those addicted to drugs? Do you also refuse to show empathy for sex addicts? Exercise addicts and coffee addicts? What about those addicted to playing video games? Do they receive the same lack of empathy and care because they made that first choice to play a game, have sex, or drink coffee? Probably not. Drugs are demonized far more than any other type of addiction, which goes to show how hypocritical this thought process can become.

Also, if you knew anything and did actual research into what addiction is, you would also know that addiction isn't always a matter of willpower. "Just stop doing drugs" or "don't do drugs in the first place" does nothing to help anybody. People are going to do what they want, often not thinking of long-term consequences. Being addicted to anything, especially a drug, heavily messes with the basic chemistry of your brain and body.

Once you've done a drug enough to not be able to function without it, your brain's chemistry is altered. (Here's more specific info on the way drugs affect brain chemistry)

We are biologically conditioned to repeat activities that cause us pleasure and release dopamine. The increasing levels of dopamine that's attached to a certain activity, makes it easier for us to repeat these things without thinking more of consequences, because of how your chemistry has been altered.

These people shouldn't be cast aside for something everybody does. We are all addicted to something, whether you admit it or not because everything changes your chemistry and biological tendencies.

Drug use, or trying a drug, is a choice. Addiction, a disease that alters the most basic functions of your body and mind, is not. We need to treat these people, offer rehabilitation, let them know that there is help if they want it. While some people don't want to get better, there are thousands more fighting withdrawals and urges every single day that need support.

Be a better person, be empathetic, and help the people that want to be helped. Offer those resources and think about the fact that maybe addiction isn't a choice, just like any other disease isn't.

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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You Can Get In 'Bad Moods' And Still Be A Positive Person

No, it's not contradictory. It's the truth.

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For 10 straight years of my life, starting in eighth grade, I was definitely not considered a happy-go-lucky girl. I was consistently at a comfortable level of happiness, sure, but was I jumping for joy for every part of my day without a complaint? Hell no, I had something to say about nearly everything with my eyes practically rolling out of my skull. Now? I am that happy presence in the room, and I have fallen in love with my new self. Is that weird? Maybe. Is it something so simple that absolutely anyone can achieve it? Absofuckinglutely.

What am I like now? Let me break it down for you, and then I want you to try to say that you have no interest in being this way in your own life, too. These are some of the smallest, yet miraculous changes I have ever applied to my life. My normally structured everyday life, my routines and my habits (good and bad).

Some of the easiest parts of your life are the hardest to break. If you understand that sentence to the depth that I'm trying to convey it, then your life is about to change.

I get up the first time I hear my alarm, every morning. I haven't pressed "snooze" in about six months. I get up at 5:02 am every single day, do you know how hard that is?! But do you know it's the easiest way to make for better days? Start your days better, and you'll see better days.

Get excited to light that morning candle because it's still dark out. A new outfit combination to keep things interesting, and feeling that hot water wake you up and release any tension in your body and bones from the night before. It's a new day, and it's up to you to make it a damn good one.

Right there, you're thinking "I can't be a positive person because sometimes I don't have a good day." Ummm, what? Robot? Is that you?

We all have bad days. Complete dog shit days, actually. Just because we are in the process or are these "newly born positive hippie fairy people", does not mean we can control the universe and what it does to us. The world will break your heart six times by Sunday and that's a damn fact. However, you can fall in love with seven of those days. Stay a step ahead of yourself. You won't regret it.

How do you handle the bad days? Simplicity here too.

Work on what you say and how you say it. I say hello to anyone I make eye contact with. Do you know how many people I pass running through meetings and a high school all day long? That's a lot of smiles. And when it comes to conversations, I never end one sentence on a negative note. Even when I'm complaining, I make sure to find a silver lining, regardless of its size, to end my sentence.

Find that little glimmer of hope and positivity, no matter how stereotypical it seems, and emphasize on it.

Make sure you complete that sentence.

Make sure people hear you.

And yes, sometimes things just really are that bad, and you can't find a good in why something happened when it did, the way it did, or why you're feeling the way you do about it. Guess what? Not an excuse. You can still find hope, but only if you're looking. "Hey, that was so shitty and I am taking it so hard and I really hate everything right now, but it could've been worse, and at least I never have to live today again."

Easy as Sunday morning, right?

You don't have to "STAY POSITIVE" to be a positive person. You just have to promise to always try your best to stay positive. That's literally all it takes. That's it.

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