A Response To “Stop Calling Your Drug Addiction A Disease"

A Response To “Stop Calling Your Drug Addiction A Disease"

I'm sorry but science is stacked up against your opinion here, Brianna

Dear Brianna,

I recently read your article about drug addiction and basically stating how addicts are self-enabling individuals and how they are in no way suffering from a serious disease. I understand your point about “they decided to take that first hit” etc., you’re very much right, but from there on out, their decision to take following “hits” isn't their choice, it's their brain chemistry. I could compare it to cancer like you did but honestly those are two completely different diseases (yes diseases) that literally cannot be compared because of the vast differences of what the disease does to the body. I think the only things that is comparable between the two is that they can both kill you, and they are both diseases.

Let me explain a little more in depth as to what happens inside of an addict's body after they become addicted to a certain type of substance. Drugs affect the “reward circuit” in the brain, basically the brain is swamped with a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This overstimulation of the reward circuit makes the user feel a sense of “euphoria” which leads them to repeat over and over again to obtain this feeling. Once this “high” is stopped cold turkey, the brain and body physically crave it and go into withdrawals.

Once a drug is abused for a period of time the brain adjusts and considers that amount of dopamine being released to be “normal,” so the brain slowly stops releasing some of its own dopamine. This results in the person losing joy and pleasure in things that they used to love, such as food, movies, friends, family, etc., and they do not get this joy back unless they use drugs. The physical and chemical changes inside of the brain itself is what causes the addict to lose self-control, which results in relapses.There are physical changes that occur within a human being when they become addicted, and those changes need to be medically treated in order to successfully have a chance of reverting back to their “normal” state.

You said you personally know addicts and have seen addiction first hand, and from reading your article I can tell you’re angry about the topic. See, coming from a psychological and social worker point of view, I’m not sure if you’re just angry at the said people that you know are addicts and taking it out in written form, or if you have literally never met or experienced an addict and you’re speaking completely out of context. You writing a letter demanding that addicts stop taking the “victim” role is literally never going to stop the opioid epidemic that is currently taking place in this country. Your article is completely opinion-based, as I am sure you know that, but the thing is, science is stacked up against you here. Empirical evidence proves that addiction is indeed a disease. Sorry to burst your little ignorance bubble…

Once again, I completely understand and agree that, yes, that first hit or pill they take is their choice, but it’s a quick spiral out of control from there. It’s a cycle that turns people into versions of themselves that they could have never imagined, and at a certain point it’s not their fault, it’s literally the way they're (re)wired.

This is what makes it so hard to love and constantly care for someone who has an addiction, one day they're fine and the next they're back into their old ways. They have lost their sense of control so they will lie, steal, and beg until they can get what they want, and honestly what they need. No withdrawal is the same, but the longer the individual abuses and how much they take will affect their personal withdrawal process. Though the withdrawal from opiates itself isn't technically life-threatening, the physical and psychological symptoms may have life-threatening consequences. Some of the severe symptoms include (but aren't limited to): vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, drug cravings, and lack of pleasure.

I’m most definitely not making an excuse for addicts to just use more and give up on getting better, I am just trying to inform you about the science and psychology behind addiction that makes it a disease. Education and awareness is important, and I do hope current addicts see these articles and decide enough is enough and seek treatment, but that most likely will not happen. What I do hope is that people, like yourself, realize the extent of this disease, and the long and hard road an addict has to take and choose to get better.

Responding to: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/stop-calling-drug...

Cover Image Credit: http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/files/2013/11/03_EFP_Deathfor50Rupees_04.jpg

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants

Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College

The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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9 Goals To Set This Fall That Will Make Your Season Sweeter Than A Pumpkin Spice Latte

Don't "Fall" out of place with your life this season by using these goals to keep you grounded.


The Fall season is a magical time of the year: the leaves are changing to beautiful colors, comfier sweaters are coming back into style, and it's the perfect time for apple-cider doughnuts and pumpkin picking. However, the changing of seasons also comes with many things that can stress people out, such as going back to school with endless amounts of work, and allergies coming back into play.

If you want to stay on top of things and make this season less stressful, here are a few goals that you can add to your planners or to do lists so Fall won't be as spooky:

Invest in a planner

Fall can be crazy, because it means getting back into the groove of things, whether it's school or a new job. Having a planner will help eliminate stress and will help you stay on top of things this season, as well as allow you to organize your thoughts and see everything you need to accomplish.

Become involved in something new that interests you

Go outside of your comfort zone and join clubs or organizations that speak to you and your passions. Not only is this a perfect opportunity to meet new people, but it helps you become more involved in your community, which is something essential.

Dedicate free time for yourself

Don't forget that we all need a break at some point, especially if we're working so hard now that summer vacation is over. Focusing on your mental health and treating yourself every once in awhile is imperative, because going on overdrive with a ton of things to do 24/7 will eventually break you down, which isn't healthy or something that you need.

Start a new show to binge-watch

Fall is the perfect time to cozy up into your bed and start a new show to binge-watch. All of the recurring shows on TV are back for a new season, so you can sit back and catch up on your own favorite, or you can select from the thousands available on Netflix or Hulu.

Turn over a new leaf with anything negative in your life

Pun intended. Entering into a new season means leaving a bunch of things from last season behind, including negativity. Plus, Fall means beginning a new school year, so it's always good to start on a fresh page with a positive attitude. Eliminate or forget about anything or anyone negative in your life that was constantly bringing you down. Having this mindset will make you enter the Fall season on a happier note, and will make your life a lot less stressful.

Buy scented candles as a way to de-stress

If you're feeling stressed with everything going on in your life, you can still get into the seasonal spirit by investing in scented candles that are perfect for this time of the year. Go for something classic like apple spice, or something funky like vanilla pumpkin marshmallow scented.

Try different recipes

There is nothing better than a slice of pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Get creative and explore your tastebuds by trying recipes that are perfect for this colder season. Plus, this is such a perfect season for baking different delicious fall-staples, such as pumpkin or apple pie, apple cider doughnuts, apple crisp, monkey bread, and the list goes on.

Participate in a bunch of Fall-related activities

This is the only time of the year where you can go apple or pumpkin picking, walk through corn mazes, go on hayrides, or even have a Halloween movie marathon, so take advantage of it. Plus, these are perfect activities for the weekends in the Fall where you need to take a break and destress.

Take it easy, and have fun

Don't push yourself too hard, take everything one day at a time, and enjoy yourself and the beautiful season of Fall.

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