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Addiction: A Disease Or A Choice?

Several people argue whether drug addiction is a disease or a choice. Today, I will be discussing this argument in hopes to have a better understanding as to why this topic is so controversial. Throughout my research, I easily found information on this topic and I am still not sure I have found any answers. The biggest argument is that addiction is a choice not a disease. For those on the other side of the argument they claim just the opposite.

According to a source on the Internet entitled Alcohol and Drug Treatment: The Disease Concept Of Substance Abuse and Addiction, the idea of drugs and alcohol being a disease is a very controversial and debated topic. For the purposes of this essay, I am forced to agree that drug addiction is a choice. People get high and drink because they want to and if they are not careful they can become an addict. The research I found on this particular topic seemed to have the most support and facts to dismiss the idea that addiction is a disease.

I also beeivle if there was enough evidence to support the idea of addiction being a disease it would not be such a controversial topic. According to a Website entitled Saint Jude Retreat House, alcoholism and drug addiction are not diseases because those types of behaviors can be avoided and there is help available to change these behaviors. Although it has been found true that drug and alcohol dependency can be passed down through hereditary there is no concrete evidence I have found that proves that this is a disease.

In a book entitled Treating Substance Abuse, Theory and Technique 2nd edition, says This first and probably least controversial of the disease models can be termed the medical consequences model. (Page 11). This statement seems to be saying that because this topic is so controversial and not enough medical proof is available it has been given a generic name. It is true that drugs and alcohol can cause diseases, but does that make the addiction problem a disease? Perhaps this topic is so controversial because of the lack of knowledge or understanding of drug addiction.

On a Website entitled Addiction is a Chronic Disease, the source was comparing diabetes and cancer to support their idea that drug addiction to is a chronic disease. The Website did not give any additional support and provided no examples. In the Encyclopedia Of Psychoactive Drugs: The Addictive Personality, page fifteen of the book states that there are three components of the disease. The three components included: the substance in which the person does, who the person is, and the society in which they came from.

In addition to the research I also interviewed an ex-addict who wishes to stay unknown. She has been clean and sober now for seven years and was an addict for about twenty years. In her recovery, she was told that her addiction was a disease, however, she was not sure that she really believed that. To this day she questions that theory, because it really is a choice. To every argument there is at least two sides and not every argument has an answer, a real reason, or a specific situation. It is amazing that such a question can be so controversial and not even say what the real controversy is.

I am going to continue on my search to find the information I am looking for in regards to this topic. There has to be more information to support the idea and the controversy that addiction is a disease. Although I stated earlier in this paper that I agreed to the idea of addiction not being a disease I would like to make a descant based on more information. For the purposes of this paper, and for the need to seek more in depth of this controversy I will find different avenues to find the information I need so that I can then inform you later with an update.

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