is addiction a choice
Is addiction a choice? This is one of the questions I have been asking myself over the past few years. As a former cocaine addict, I spent many years wondering if my addictions were “crippling” me in some way. I wondered, was this disease or condition that could not be “cured.” As a former addict myself, I also wondered how others who had not been addicts felt so strongly that addiction was a choice. After doing some more research, I realized that for the most part, the answer to the question is addiction a choice was not a definite “yes” or “no.” The American Heart Association and the American Medical Association are the groups that have come up with what is now called the “disease model” which is used to explain addiction. According to the disease model, addiction is simply a symptom of an underlying psychological disorder. These disorders include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia and drug abuse/addiction. According to the disease model, these problems must be treated in order for recovery from addiction to occur. Unfortunately, many people who deal with addictions often don’t get treatment for their psychological disorders and these are the root causes of their addictions.
Unfortunately, the disease model is not accepted by everyone in the medical profession including doctors and scientists. For some time, the disease model has been challenged by professionals such as Drs. Amen, and Pelham. These two doctors developed a book called “What is the Cause of Addiction?”
In their book, the two physicians argue that the cause of addiction can be found in the biological makeup of the human body. They theorize that the reason that many people have a compulsion to drugs is because their brains have not learned how to effectively communicate with their addictions. The brain is designed to handle the physical actions of feeding, drinking, using and sleeping. It is difficult for a person with a substance abuse disorder to do all of these tasks effectively without going into an altered state of consciousness known as hypnosis.
is addiction a choice from a doctors point of view
The doctors explain that it is important to distinguish between addiction and substance use disorders. People with substance use disorders do have an addiction, but it is different than the addiction a person has when they use drugs. When a person becomes physically addicted, they are dealing with chemical issues that the body has adapted to. With addiction, the person must also learn how to cope with those substances. Substance use disorders occur over time and are more complex than addiction.
Although the disease model suggests that there is a good chance that drug addiction can be a choice, it is important for people to remember that no one can decide for you whether or not you will become dependent on a drug. The choice is in you. If you have a family history of drug abuse or another addiction, that may help you understand your own personal choices. People are responsible for making the decisions that they are comfortable with.
Learn more about the Types Of Addiction