Categorized | Opinions

Addiction: A disease or a choice?

By Bridgette Montgomery

What would your opinion be on this topic? This is a very popular question viralling all over the internet and social media lately. Why though? It is because there is a major problem around the United States dealing with people overdosing on heroine. This could and is a very touchy topic for many people.

A question asked on debate.org says, “Should we consider addiction a disease?” Well an anonymous person replied to the question with, “Yes, we should consider addiction a disease because genetics and brain anatomy both play into it. There have been scientific studies that show that addictions frequently run in families. Now there is certainly a possibility that one’s environment – for example growing up with an alcoholic parent – can strongly influence one’s behavior, but there have also been studies of twins, separated at birth and raised by unrelated adoptive families, which show that identical twins (who share the same genetic material) are more likely to both develop addictions than fraternal twins who do not share identical genes. Furthermore, there have been studies which show that people who have suffered injuries to their frontal lobes, the areas of the brain that handle planning and impulse control, are at risk of developing addictions subsequent to their injuries.” This person has a very valid point of view on this topic and is correct about much of the information and facts stated, but someone else did not exactly agree with her idea and thoughts on this topic. Another anonymous person has replied to the question with their thoughts about the debate, this one did not exactly agree with it or many others. “Addiction is a habit not a disease. We as humans like to use denial as a means of making ourselves feel comfort about things we don’t want to accept. Saying that addiction is a disease supports a victim complex and subscribes to the idea that we are not in control of our own actions. There is very little evidence to support the stance that addiction is a disease, the evidence put forth is paper thin at best. Neuroplasticity explains how our brains change with new thoughts and learning patterns, and it has been proven time and time again that people with addiction have the power to quit on their own. In most cases they do.”

“We label too many things a disease nowadays. I believe it is a physical and mental issue, but not a disease. Some people can overcome the physical and mental issue on their own, others cannot. Usually people make the choice to use drugs initially. I have never ever met someone who made a choice to become addicted. Take me for example. I smoke cigarettes, have for 13 years. I don’t consider myself addicted to them, because I do not want to quit. However, just because I choose to smoke does not mean I want cancer, but I do consider that my chances of getting cancer go up because I smoke. Likewise a person that uses drugs, uses them to get high (dull some pain), they don’t want to become addicted, even though they know that is a possibility.” Said Heterdox from debate.org. He seemed unbiased on this topic, meaning he really had no side he exactly agreed with.  Briantheliberal said in reply to the question, “Addiction is a disease, a mental condition. A person cannot choose to be addicted to something, however, an addiction is usually the result of choice.” On the other hand, Brian believes it is a disease and should be considered one. Yet he does say in a way, it is also a result of a choice made.

There were many more facts, questions, debates, and responses made on this topic. But these were the first ones that caught my eye. I have an unbiased point of view on this touchy topic, because I have no relation in it at all. So I can see both side of people’s arguments. Everyone stated above made valid points and did a great job to catch someone’s attention with their facts of this debate. So what do you think about it?

Leave a Reply