Drug addiction viewed as a disease?

Homepage Forums Welcome to HighExistence Drug addiction viewed as a disease?

0
Avatar of Lauren
Lauren (@laurenlouise)    1 year, 3 months ago

Hey friends!

So today in my Human Services class we had a guest speaker talk about addiction and working with people who suffer from addictions. She said that (with no room to disagree) addictions are diseases, comparing them even to cancer and diabetes.

Well, although I didn’t bring it up to her (it’s a fairly short class and she didn’t have much time to complete her presentation) I disagree. I see addiction as a consequence to a choice. Most people (not including kids exposed at young ages) are aware of the dangerous side effects of many drugs prior to actually trying them, therefore, I believe it cannot be considered a disease.

What do you guys think? This is a huge debate in the psychological realm and really fascinates me. Also, I’m not trying to undermine the tragedy of being addicted to any substance, just looking into how others see addiction.

Thanks! <3

0 votes, posted 11.19.2012 at 11:20 pm
+

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Avatar of ELizard
ELizard (@heavydreamz)1 year, 3 months ago ago

Again, people meet their expectations. If you expect a person to stay hooked on drugs they just might have to join your cult! Its as simple as that. So if a person is believing they have a disease, they are disempowered by their thoughts and what they think they are capable of. Another reason that everything about our culture is backwards by the language we use in context.

We should be teaching people to empower themselves.

+
Avatar of
Anonymous (@)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@heavydreamz, I was not an addict because I was trying to meet people’s expectations. What the hell kind of logic is that? You have no idea what you’re talking about, take your advice of teaching people and go learn something yourself.

+
Avatar of Wolverine
Wolverine (@spaceman5150)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@laurenlouise, i do believe it is a disease. just because i am struggling to be 7 months clean and i really really want to go back to using and getting all fucked up haha. its i guess like a disease that is imbedded in someones brain that we have to get high and stuff. addiction can be passed down in heredity lines and cause some people to become addicted quicker than others. so therefore it is a disease. i do not like admitting it. i have the disease and i can be an addict, but ive been clean.

+
Avatar of KidCoreo
KidCoreo (@toefuhomie)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@laurenlouise, I’ve taken a class on street drugs and they interact with the human body @ UC Davis.

In the grand scheme of things, everything we ingest is considered a drug. Food is a drug and causes metabolic changes within our body and can provide energy, nutrition, and etc. A prime example can be Ice Cream, do you remember the first time you had ice cream? I bet when you were a child all you could dream of was ice cream and when your next bite was going to occur. I bet it was something you’ve never experienced before and you saw it as a reward.

The nucleus accumbens, a part of our brain, is associated with reward and is what tells us that we want more of that specific brain inducer. Drugs are a choice, but the psychological and physiological on our brain is not. Addiction is a real thing and is a man made DISEASE.

The term disease broadly refers to any condition that impairs normal function, and is therefore associated with dysfunction of normal homeostasis

I hope this helps.

+
Avatar of Ray Butler
Ray Butler (@trek79)1 year, 3 months ago ago

As addiction is aquired, you can blame the individual or the society, the peer environment or how they were raised, this is all semantics that does not solve anything. Ideally we would create a society that rises above such things, but again this speculation does not solve anything.
Regardless of who or what is to blame and regardless of all hypothetical idealistic solutions, the addicted have a disability, they are not free to make the simple choices that most of us take for granted. It is blatently obvious that a person who says “just quit, will power” and people who only sit casting blame and judgement, these people simply do not get it.
People had all the education for knowing exactly what addiction is and why to avoid it, but end up there anyway. It can never be as simple as solving societies problems because unless you eliminate potential addictions or excessively regulate them, people will abuse them, no matter how utopic your society is, but if control is so vehement then it would be more akin to dystopia.
The only real option is for people to find that thing that is missing, the hole that they fill with addiction, and this is unique to us all, our passion, that thing that makes it worth it. Yet there are all these expectations, one way or another, that rob people of the option to embrace or even find that passion.
Pressures to succeed or to conform, there are the rich pressure and there are the poor pressure, the intellectual pressures and the under-educated pressure, the family pressures and the peer pressures. We are all screwed up by this mess in some way, either too much or not enough, there seems to be no perfect dose.

+
Avatar of ELizard
ELizard (@heavydreamz)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@vinabeans, you must consider the expectations you carry for yourself

+
Avatar of
Anonymous (@)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@heavydreamz, you just made it worse. so you’re telling me that I expect myself to be an addict that’s why I became one? you’re telling me I expect myself to relapse that’s why i struglle to stay clean everyday?
stop preaching something you have no understading of.

+
Avatar of ELizard
ELizard (@heavydreamz)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@vinabeans, believe it or not I’ve been there and I’m with you. I was in a 12 step program for 3 1/2 years. Eventually I realized these programs are full of low expectations, now I realize that our entire society thrives off them. I understand it works for people to make a better life by ‘surrendering’ but to say you have a disease you can never get rid of is selling yourself short. I personally believe a more radical change in lifestyle is the best medicine. I changed my diet and my brain changed. I started meditating and I began to see how I was unable to be in my own head so I was just looking for external things to distract me.. Drugs, alcohol, food, caffeine, tobacco, relationships, drama, anger, it’s all the same, I need something to keep me out of my head and it’s a minute to minute battle. I literally replaced my ‘drug’ addiction with an addiction to meetings, but now i realize that there is no addiction, its just me and my head. I become aware what I really need is to take a breath and remind myself that anything is possible and that its entirely up to me because the way I look at something creates my life. Stop focusing on the problem and start doing what makes you truly happy. Drugs are fucked up, especially the ones that are designed to keep you coming back.. that phrase sound familiar?

+
Avatar of Samantha
Samantha (@sammomantha)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@trek79, Still, I don’t agree with the disease model. You seem to be talking about one extreme of addiction. There are so many degrees of addiction.

I agree, that caring is sometimes about taking control in some aspects, maybe as a loved one, or if someone needs to be institutionalized due to a serious mental health condition. However, there IS a choice in addiction. It may not seem that way, but there is. The person’s life may be so out of control due to their addiction, and it may have been out of control prior to their addiction. It doesn’t mean that an outside person taking control, and acting like the addicted person has no control will help.

Generally it would be better to show them that if they wish to, they can take control of their addiction. It may sound harsh (but I have first hand experience of this myself), but acting like an addicted person just has a disease doesn’t empower them to change what’s really going on. We can change everything around the person, we can tell them what to change about their though processes…but it’s not going to happen if the person doesn’t a) have a reason/ motivation to change, or b) have the confidence to change.

I think if you act like someone has a disease when they are addicted, it makes it harder to kick it. I mean, it takes the control from the person because we get diseases for no real reason most of the time, or reasons generally that are out of our control.

We can wish to change a person as much as we want, we can try to change their addiction too. However, if they don’t want to, or don’t have the confidence too…then they won’t. It is ultimately up to them.

Also, I think yes Psychology teaches that no one approach fits all…but I think in the real world, most of the time, it is far more simplistic than people like to admit.

+
Avatar of Samantha
Samantha (@sammomantha)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@trek79, I agree with you when you say we can ‘blame’ things all we want but it won’t change anything. It won’t. However, it shouldn’t be about blaming anything or anyone. It should be about understanding. There is a difference between Blaming parents for someone’s upbringing, and understanding the impact that certain parenting styles have had on an individual.

I think it’s not as black and white as that. Yes, people with addictions don’t necessarily make the right choices. Their values and morals may be mixed up…however, they can get there with understanding and guidance. There is no use telling them that they have no control over their situation and that they can’t make the right decisions for themselves. Where is the empowerment in that?

Many people with addictions (and again, this is not about blaming) do need to face up to their issues in order to heal. I needed to. I had people sugar coating things for me, telling me I had no control, and that just gave me another excuse to have a ‘slip up’. Yes, I realise everyone is different! However I don’t believe taking the control from anyone solves anything. Maybe if someone has certain personal schema where they blame themselves for things that are not their fault, and their self blame leads to their addiction. However, I think the underlying issue here of where the self blame is coming from would be better to explore.

I don’t think it is a simple as blaming and controlling. I think you have a point in people making irrational decisions if they have a serious mental health issue. However, if we are talking about addiction, then I don’t think there is any use in telling people that they have little control over picking up that bong/ bottle/ pipe or whatever. That’s like telling a victim in an abusive situation that he/she has no control to leave even if he/she wants to.

Just my opinion though, maybe we just have completely different ideas and (perhaps) experiences with addiction.

+
Avatar of Learn&Love
Learn&Love (@awildkyle)1 year, 3 months ago ago

Sorry for the long comment, I read the whole thread and have been pondering this for a while now.

@laurenlouise I think addiction is such a broad concept that you cannot brand it a disease or not a disease because it varies with each person and each substance or behavior. If someone grew up in a household where their parents were habitual meth users and they started drinking and doing drugs themselves at a young age then over time they might develop a dependency on certain things to satisfy their cravings, escape from realities, or even just get through the day. In that sense, when it is an intricate part of your life, you grew up with it and/or can’t get away from it now, then I could understand someone calling their addiction a disease.

On the other hand if you grew up in an ideal setting where you weren’t exposed to abuse and had a somewhat easy lifestyle and only sought out substances on your own when you were old enough to understand their place and consequences then it is more a matter of free will.

There is also the nature of the addiction for example being addicted to weed vs. heroin. If you smoke pot all day and think/admit to yourself you’re addicted and then stop cold turkey you could become anxious or uneasy, maybe even suffer from some headaches or something but for the most part it would just be a craving and not too serious. Whereas if you’re addicted to h and you quit your body goes through withdraws, you feel weak and seriously sick, throwing up and such quite possibly to the point where it would be very hard to go about your routines without indulging.

I’m not trying to sit on the fence but I think it’s much more complicated than simply labeling addiction a disease or not because it totally depends on the circumstance. There’s the factor that people are largely products of their environment, and there’s the idea that people can become addicted to a whole mess of things such as coffee, cocaine, fast food, cigarettes, facebook, running, sex, shopping and lying. Some things are more addicting than others, and in different magnitudes to different people.

If I had to make a decision, I would say that in general addiction is not a disease, simply because more often than not it seems like people are able to overcome it with willpower, and others do not let themselves become addicted to something through that same control. But it is not that simple, because there are people out there who try really hard to get over something and they still can’t because it is such an intricate part of their lives. And I’m not saying that you have to be brought up around it either; some people are just naturally more likely to be continuously influenced by certain experiences. Hopefully recognizing that would not give them the desire to claim little responsibility for their actions, but at least it would help them tackle the problem from its roots or key aspects. Truly the person who can most correctly distinguish the amount of freewill or imbedded disease there is with an addiction is the person with it, (or mayybe a very close friend). This might be hard to do accurately, but not impossible.

Whether you label an example of addiction a disease or not could play an intricate part in overcoming it. If you notice that you have tendencies to overindulge when you get high on one thing, you probably want to keep that in mind when you get high on another. Some people are more susceptible to cravings than others. I personally have not really had a struggle with any sort of addiction, so I cannot claim to understand it fully. But I do have a friend who was using heroin on a regular basis and suffered from withdraws when he ran out of money and even after a few days of being clean it sometimes consumed his thoughts and desires. We all go by our own experiences and encounters of other peoples’ experiences so of course there’s going to be different views on whether addiction is a disease but I would hope that most people can come to the general consensus that it does vary from case to case.

+
Avatar of Ray Butler
Ray Butler (@trek79)1 year, 3 months ago ago

@sammomantha, Good points, I agree with all of that. People not only need to want to be helped but they have to be the one working hardest in that help, and they have to know they have that strength. I just do not see the more extreme addicts kicking it without leaning on others to assist. There is nothing wrong with the interdependance of people in a community or society, that is what they are there for and people who have no addictions at all still count on other people in their lives.
A lot of the problem with addiction is simply access to the thing being abused and what addict in their right(wrong?) mind is going to throw away that thing or keep it out of reach, maybe they can at first but once these physical withdrawls kick in, the pain is phenomenal and so easily fixed.

+
Avatar of Ray Butler
Ray Butler (@trek79)1 year, 3 months ago ago

The thing is; The best you can do is get the addict to want to get clean if only long enough for them to commit to a program, but once this is done at some point they will want out, they will want a fix and give up, and if you let them go they will just hate themselves for it, but if you keep them against their will they are going to doubt that any of the strength was theirs to begin with. It is a catch 22 situation where both roads lead back to addiction, and that is the tragedy of addiction. The treatment does not end at kicking the physical habit, in most cases the habit is primarily psychological to begin with.

+
Avatar of
Anonymous (@)1 year, 3 months ago ago

[b]Armani Watches[/b]
[b][url=http://www.dressreplicawatches.com/armani-watches-c-577.html]RArmani Watches
Replica Armani Watches
fake Armani Watches
cheap Armani Watches
discount Armani Watches

+
Avatar of
Anonymous (@)1 year, 3 months ago ago

[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-c-1.html]UGG Boots[/url][/b]
[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-ugg-roxy-c-1_6.html]UGG Roxy[/url][/b]
[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-ugg-roxy-c-1_6.html]UGG Boots Sale[/url][/b]
[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-ugg-roxy-c-1_6.html]UGG Boots Online[/url][/b]
[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-ugg-roxy-c-UGG Boots
UGG Roxy
UGG Boots Sale
UGG Boots Online
UGG
.The concept half-sock is described to the half-covered insole while the forepart created from visible.

Before above above, socks can be useful for the purpose of absorbing the actual sweat generated by the feet.It attraction the sweat to parts where free-flowing air dries the perspiration avoiding feet odor build-up.Equally, in cold environments, socks will serves as as remover of moisture generated by the foot and decreases also of a person being ?nduced with frostbite.

Running footwear, casual shoes, and still boots require the installation of socks.Fashion has also allowed the installation of socks concerning open-toed shoes that include sandals.Yet, this put into practice of by using socks throughout sandals is recognised as unfashionable in several social arenas

+
Avatar of
Anonymous (@)1 year, 3 months ago ago

[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-c-1.html]UGG Boots[/url][/b]
[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-ugg-roxy-c-1_6.html]UGG Roxy[/url][/b]
[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-ugg-roxy-c-1_6.html]UGG Boots Sale[/url][/b]
[b]UGG Boots Online[/b]
[b][url=http://www.linkuggboots.com/hot-sale-ugg-roxy-UGG Boots
UGG Roxy
UGG Boots Sale
UGG Boots Online
UGG
.The concept half-sock is described to the half-covered insole while the forepart created from visible.

Before above above, socks can be useful for the purpose of absorbing the actual sweat generated by the feet.It attraction the sweat to parts where free-flowing air dries the perspiration avoiding feet odor build-up.Equally, in cold environments, socks will serves as as remover of moisture generated by the foot and decreases also of a person being ?nduced with frostbite.

Running footwear, casual shoes, and still boots require the installation of socks.Fashion has also allowed the installation of socks concerning open-toed shoes that include sandals.Yet, this put into practice of by using socks throughout sandals is recognised as unfashionable in several social arenas

+
Avatar of
Anonymous (@)1 year, 3 months ago ago
+
Avatar of
Anonymous (@)1 year, 3 months ago ago

[b][url=http://www.kisslouisvuitton.com/es/louis-vuitton-2011-collection-c-2048.html]Louis Vuitton 2011 Collection[/url][/b]
[b][url=http://www.kisslouisvuitton.com/es/louis-vuitton-2011-collection-c-Louis Vuitton 2011 Collection
Louis Vuitton Collection
LV 2011 Collection
Louis Vuitton Accessories
Louis Vuitton Accessories Replica

+
Avatar of
Anonymous (@)1 year, 3 months ago ago
+