Addiction Is Not A Disease, It's A Disorder That Starts With A Choice
Start writing a post

Addiction Starts With A Choice, And That's Why It Isn't A Disease

Addiction is caused by a choice to take the drug, a choice that leads to a person becoming a prisoner to his or her own brain.

female drug addict

Addiction is a very hot topic in any setting these days. There is not one day without opioid addiction being in the news. There is always another life taken too soon. They left family that loved them so much behind, family that wishes they could have saved that person.

I personally have seen the effects addiction has on a family. It can completely destroy it without intention. And though that person may recover, they always have to put their sobriety first and everything else on the back burner.

In the DSM-5, addiction is listed as a mental disorder and not a disease. This is because the disorder is caused by a choice to take the drug, a choice that leads to a person becoming a prisoner to his or her own brain.

In the words of Tom Holden, a psychiatrist and assistant professor at Queen's University Medical School, "Addiction does not meet the criteria specified for a disease because there is not a deviation from the anatomical norm." This means that yes, it is a disorder, but it does not distort the physical body enough to be a disease.

Holden, in his article "Addiction is Not A Disease," states that an actual disease treatment involves more than just changing a behavior and that if a cancer patient is not able to access the outside world, they will still have cancer. If you make an addict restricted to the outside world, they will no longer be an addict. If there is no alcohol, there cannot be alcoholism.

This topic is so controversial because people believe that they are victims of this "genetic" disease, even though every person that is an addict made a choice to take that drug. And yes, there are components in our DNA that make some more likely than others to become an addict.

If there is all this information readily available to people, how is it that we are in a crisis with addiction?

When do we stop playing the victim card and start holding people accountable for actions they made with their own free will?

Personally, I get it. I understand what it is like to be compelled to do things that, if you did not have issues, you would not do.

The difference is, I did not make the choice to have a mental illness.

(Now, mental illness and addiction go hand in hand, but that is a whole other topic.)

My purpose for writing this is not to start a controversy but rather to have people stop blaming everything but themselves for the trouble that happens in their life.

Addiction is not a disease. It is a mental disorder. It's a self-inflicted disorder. And if you are able to grasp the concept that there is something wrong, then you are ready to get help.

The moment we stop blaming, we can get the help we need to overcome the hardest part of our disorders.

Addiction is never cured, just in remission.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments