I'll Call Addiction A Disease Once You Call It A Choice
Health and Wellness

I'll Call Addiction A Disease Once You Call It A Choice

Disease does not make you do anything.

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I'll Call Addiction A Disease Once You Call It A Choice
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The United States government does not track the death rate of every drug. However the CDC and NHS does collect information on the more commonly used drugs.

More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids--nearly double in a decade.

But recently I've been seeing people deny that it is a choice -- that they died because of a disease. But disease does not make anyone do anything. Let's make that clear.

Let's start with explaining what "drug addiction" is -- addiction is defined as a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. There is still a choice. The statement that addiction is a disease is empirically unsupported. Just the fact alone that there is brain changes does not mean that they have to succumb to drug addiction.

I have seen firsthand what addiction does, who it destroys, who it hurts. I've had family members alone on the cold streets on drugs, I've had family punching their parents in the face repeatedly for money to get drugs. I watched my older cousin not wake up because she overdosed on pills, and i watched as responders saved her life. I've seen the dark sides of addiction. So I understand where some people are coming from calling it an addiction and not a choice. But they need to also understand that blaming it on the disease isn't going to make them understand that they put themselves in that mess.

Someone ingesting a drug, no matter what it is -- cocaine, heroine, nicotine, alcohol. Someone sat down, ingested or injected it into their body knowing well what will happen to them. No one is an addict before the drug is ingested. Addiction is a behavior and is clearly intended by the individual person.

So when you accept that it's a choice that they made, I'll start calling it a disease.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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