These days, addiction can be of many forms. Some gets addicted on technology, on social media, on food, on self-harming, on shopping, etc. But today, we’ll be talking about the addiction on substances like alcohol, cigarette and drugs. Some argue that addiction is a disease, while others believe that it is a choice. So before we talk about this issue, let us first define what addiction is.
According to American Psychological Association, it is a condition in which the body must take a substance to avoid physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Now, the question is, should addiction be considered a disease or a choice? I already have a stand but I want to go in-depth about the meaning of disease and choice first.
When you say that addiction is a disease, it means you see it as something you didn’t see coming and something you regard as unrectifiable unless you seek professional help. Classifying it as a disease means you are putting the blame to someone or something else, perhaps your friend’s bad influence or your brain activity. On the other hand, saying addiction is a choice means you admit that you are wrong and that you can make it right if you want to.
Personally, I view addiction as a choice. You have all the power you need to say no to a drug. You will decide whether you will succumb to peer pressure or not. You will decide if you liked the experience or not. You will decide if you will do it again or not. You will decide whether you put an end to your addiction or not. You have all the power in your hands; you just have to realize that. You see, we are responsible for our actions, decisions and thoughts. So I believe that we are capable of rectifying every bad situation we put ourselves into – including addiction.
Many medical professionals say that addicts cannot control themselves, thus, they are not responsible for their actions. They say that addicts are robbed of their free wills. Lawyers are even using the “addict-is-helpless” argument to win their cases and justify addicts’ behaviors. However, if that is truly the case, then why is it that a survey conducted by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) reveal that 10 percent of all American adults, ages 18 and older, regard themselves to be recovering from drug or alcohol abuse problems. This percentage, whoch may seem small, actually indicates that there are 23.5 million American adults who are overcoming or have already overcome an addiction with drugs or alcohol. How is that? I thought some professionals are claiming that addicts do not have free wills. So why are there so many of them able to quit their addictions? I guess this just proves that addicts do have free will, which they can use to save themselves should they choose to do so.
A lot of addicts choose to quit their addictions because of several factors. They consider the financial burden addiction brings, the embarrassment it gives their family and themselves, and the psychological distress it causes them.
So you see, getting in and out of addiction involves a lot of decision-making and choices to take. What will your choice be?