Drug Addiction Choice
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Is Drug Addiction Choice or a
How can it be a disease if you
bring it on yourself? There is a world of opinion about whether a
person becomes an addict/alcoholic by choice, or if they contract the
disease of addiction/alcoholism through no fault of their own. Maybe
it is a chicken and egg issue, but either way, addiction is not
something anyone asks for or puts on their list of aspirations.
It is a disease of the brain
We believe addiction/alcoholism
is a disease of the brain, triggered when a substance is introduced
and fires receptors I the brain. It’s like a crouching tiger,
waiting in the tall grass for some prey to come along. Obviously,
without the prey, the tiger goes hungry.
Without the substance, addiction does
not occur. However, it’s like a dormant seed, waiting there, even
for decades for something to bring it to life. The substance comes
and the disease begins to blossom. But why can one person use a
substance, even repeatedly, yet never become addicted, while another
person tries it once and their life goes astray? Everyone is
different and so everyone reacts differently to any drug.
We all make choices
When a person makes a choice there are
consequences, good and bad. Our lives are an endless succession of
choices, from what food to eat, to how to make a living, to what car
to drive. A person has to make a choice to use a substance, whether
that choice is prompted by a medical need, or that choice is just a
matter of wanting to have a good time.
We don’t necessarily think all the
way through that choice, and certainly if someone knows they are
going to become seriously ill, or addicted, or if their lives will be
negatively impacted, their choice might be different. But as it
stands, people who have become addicted really do not understand the
ramifications of their choices.
Life sometimes has a cruel twist of
fate, and addiction/alcoholism has its own—that is one person can
use a substance, even repeatedly, and never become addicted, while
another uses just once and is hooked. It hardly seems fair, but
it’s the truth. You can spew on about a weakness of character, and
certainly that might play a part, but the fact is if a person is
predisposed to addiction and the substance is introduced, the clock
starts ticking and the fuse is lit.
Drug addiction choice is an
Choice is an interesting topic
when it comes to the addict/alcoholic. As the disease progresses
their ability to choose diminishes. A desire to drink, for example,
turns into the need to drink.
The enjoyment of a cocaine high turns
into intense cravings that drive the person to make choices he
otherwise would not make just to get the drug. Even years after
treatment, the coke addict still craves the drug. He has choice, but
An alcoholic may not take a drink for
years, but he/she is just a “dry drunk” because all it takes is
one drink and they are right back on that old path again. It isn’t
fair and sadly there is no cure.
Drug addiction choice versus will
Choice and will power are another
point of contention. There are a lot of people who want to quit
smoking and they have will power, but they can’t quit. Addicts
rarely are successful applying sheer will power to their situation.
They can go “cold turkey” and try
to tough it out, but without treatment, or a support system, they
usually fail. Alcoholics who are able to drink a quart or more a day
of liquor are in jeopardy of dying if they go off their booze with no
Drug addicts can go through a nasty
withdrawal and are not likely to die, but alcoholics are tempting
fate and medical detoxification is more than necessary, it’s
Always choose treatment that’s the right drug addiction choice.
If there is a choice that has to
be made, let that choice be made for treatment. Usually any choice
an addict/alcoholic makes is a bad one, so they often need a strong
hand to help them make the right choice.
When the disease is in full bloom, they
only choice the addict/alcoholic is capable of making will be to use
their drug of choice. Logic and rational thinking don’t enter into
it. Unfortunately people have the right to make choices, no matter
of sick they are and no matter how risky the wrong decision might be.
That’s why people walk out of
treatment centers—they don’t think they need help. They don’t believe they have an addiction. The believe the have a drug addiction choice. They don’t
like to follow the rules. The disease makes the choices, not the
person. How else can you explain the propensity of people to take
huge health risks and throw away happiness, a career, family and a
productive life. Maybe you think they’re crazy, or maybe because
of the disease they have been made crazy.
They usually MUST use!
In the case of addiction, choice
really isn’t choice at all. Addict/alcoholics have to use, because
they have no choice. Otherwise the person with five DUI’s on their
record would not get behind the wheel of a car when they are
They don’t want to get into an
accident, or worse yet become a murderer, but that is the severely
impaired choice they have made. They do drive, regardless of the
law, regardless of court orders, regardless of any dire consequences.
They don’t successfully complete
treatment and they repeatedly violate the law, not just the civil
law, but moral law. Civil law says we should lock them up and throw
away the key. Moral law says try to treat their disease and help
No one CHOOSES addiction!
Nobody wants to be an
addict/alcoholic. You don’t see that written in a high school
yearbook, “Hoping to become an addict and live a life of misery.”
It can be said that addiction/alcoholism began with a choice to use
the substance, but nobody chooses to fall into the grips of the
disease and suffer the way so many people suffer.The disease is addiction and that isn’t drug addiction choice.
Following the disease model, we
encourage treatment and follow-up in a good recovery program. For more information about drug addiction choice or disease visit our home page.
There is Hope!!
from our visitor: Tami
(Baltimore, MD )
I posted my story back last June. My 21 yr
old son & his g/f were using heroin. Just when I thought they had
hit “rock bottom”… something else would happen. I had actually
prepared myself for “that” call. (although, as a parent, I never wanted
to get it).
It got so bad at the start of the Holiday season,
that we actually had to just not accept the phone calls from him or
answer & tell him no when he would ask me to order him a pizza
online because he was hungry.
Well, as a parent, I THOUGHT I was
doing the right thing by ordering him a pizza… never wanted to hear
my son was hungry….well, after speaking with several people who had
been in this situation, I found out that I was actually enabling him to
Knowing that I would order him food allowed him to
use the little bit of $$ he had left from unemployment to buy drugs. So,
from then on, I had to say “NO”. This broke my heart, to say the least.
But, I am very happy to report to all of those who replied,
talked me thru this, supported & so on… THERE IS HOPE…!! I
picked my son up Xmas eve from his 8×6 rented room, with no heat, no
furniture & no food… to spend with his family for xmas & to
spend some time with his 18 month old daughter, who was taken from him
& the mother back in June…. (baby is with his sister, my daughter
in Foster Care) …. THIS WAS THE BEST THING EVER EVER EVER THAT COULD
HAVE HAPPENED TO MY SON, HIS DAUGHTER & THE REST OF THE FAMILY!!
would like to tell everyone that my son successfully completed an
inpatient rehab, is living with us, has been going to NA meetings every
night, has a supportive sponsor, very supportive family, is now working
towards getting his GED & is working. THERE IS HOPE!!
know that his recovery is an everlasting road into the future….there
will always be temptations & is a day by day process. But, he took
the 1st step & now sees that there is so much more out there to live
for…. himself & his family…..
PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP ON THE ONE (S) YOU LOVE…. !!!!!!
and Finally Remember:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
– Matthew 7:7-8
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