Addiction: Choice Or Disease?

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Drug addiction choice or disease
I do not think there is a clearly and completely accepted prototype for making sense of addiction, but no matter how someone gets addicted to drugs or alcohol, once they are, they face a difficult and sometimes deadly disease. The debate over whether alcoholism is a disease or simply a serious behavioral problem has continued for over the years. Today, I want to talk about what alcohol and drug addiction really is a chronic medical disease of the brain. I believe if we treat the disease as such, long term success rates will greatly improve, in most cases. One of the positive trends that is helping increase acceptance of a medical approach to alcohol and drug addiction is the growing awareness that substance dependence is not a moral failure, but rather a chronic medical disease with similarities to other chronic medical diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. According to Buddy T. (About.com Guide) “Addiction is a chronic brain disease that is more about the neurology of the brain rather than the outward manifestations of behavioral problems and poor choices…” Unfortunately, the result of an altered brain that did learned how to do the wrong thing, over and over again are horrendous and they just simply do not disappear. And like diabetes, asthma, and other chronic diseases, addiction is a chronic disease as well. Your diabetes is not cured simply because you are taking your medicine and watching your diet; it may be managed, but it is still present. It’s the same with the disease of addiction; it can be managed successfully but it is a chronic disease. There are no quick fixes for any chronic illness including addiction, which is why patients deserve sympathy and support, even when they relapse. We do not condemn a diabetic for having a sugary dessert or forgetting to take his or her medicine; we do not revile the person with hypertension who gains weight instead of losing it. Instead, we sympathize with and try to...
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