Drug Addiction is it is a disease or something else?

In the Addiction world, it is a hot debate. Those that are into NA/AA swear it is a disease that can not be cured. But is picking up something and putting it in your mouth, up your nose or in your vein to release an emotional suffering a disease?     I doubt it.  It was something we latched onto in the 30’s when there was nothing else available. Now we have so much more technology and styles of therapy,  we should be able to see clearer.

What we can all agree on is that something….something is causing the behavior. A social pressure, a stress, an inability to cope, high demands in the workplace, in life, in the marriage. All of these things lead to stress…stress leads to reaching for something to numb and tune out. Drugs, Facebook, TV, alcohol, cake, food, etc……

So now what?  We treat the CAUSE and we offer solutions to fix the cause….that is how we do it. No meetings, no games, no prayers. We get to the bottom of it and change it.

THAT is why we are so successful.

 

 

 

12 replies
  1. James Michie says:

    Negative addictions, those that result in harmful and negative consequences for the addict/alcoholic, must be replaced with positive addictions. I agree that getting to the root “CAUSE” of a person’s addiction, usually some form of trauma, is the way to go. But, who is to say which positive addictions, addictions which promote personal growth in all areas, are best for the individual without speaking to them about the choices available to them and their personal needs and preferences . Learning the CAUSE of their addiction is a huge relief for many, no doubt. But, establishing new behavior patterns is a long process where old relationships must be abandoned and new relationships forged. 12-Step may help to jump start recovery in the positive relationships department, but it certainly isn’t for everyone, and there are many zealots and fanatics in 12-Step who do more harm to the newcomer than good. This is where a good coach is important to have by their side in the beginning. Having said that, if the addict/alcoholic isn’t interested in 12-Step, it may take the addict/alcoholic in early recovery a long time and effort to forge new healthy relationships and to set strict boundaries for those old “friends” and family who do not support them in their recovery. And, this is also where a good coach is important to have by their side. Some, like myself were lucky enough to choose sponsor’s in 12-Step who have had my best interest at heart. And, fortunately I knew, intuitively, when it was time to get a new sponsor. I do not like the “disease model” as espoused by 12-Step, but I do like the process of writing and journaling in the Steps, which I am sure can be modified and adopted by someone not in a 12 step fellowship who finds that journaling benefits them in recovery. In my own case, I decided not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. I also avoid fanatics at all costs. Thank you.

  2. James Michie says:

    Negative addictions, those that result in harmful and negative consequences for the addict/alcoholic, must be replaced with positive addictions. I agree that getting to the root “CAUSE” of a person’s addiction, usually some form of trauma, is the way to go. But, who is to say which positive addictions, addictions which promote personal growth in all areas, are best for the individual without speaking to them about the choices available to them and their personal needs and preferences . Learning the CAUSE of their addiction is a huge relief for many, no doubt. But, establishing new behavior patterns is a long process where old relationships must be abandoned and new relationships forged. 12-Step may help to jump start recovery in the positive relationships department, but it certainly isn’t for everyone, and there are many zealots and fanatics in 12-Step who do more harm to the newcomer than good. This is where a good coach is important to have by their side in the beginning. Having said that, if the addict/alcoholic isn’t interested in 12-Step, it may take the addict/alcoholic in early recovery a long time and effort to forge new healthy relationships and to set strict boundaries for those old “friends” and family who do not support them in their recovery. And, this is also where a good coach is important to have by their side. Some, like myself were lucky enough to choose sponsor’s in 12-Step who have had my best interest at heart. And, fortunately I knew, intuitively, when it was time to get a new sponsor. I do not like the “disease model” as espoused by 12-Step, but I do like the process of writing and journaling in the Steps, which I am sure can be modified and adopted by someone not in a 12 step fellowship who finds that journaling benefits them in recovery. In my own case, I decided not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. I also avoid fanatics at all costs. Thank you.

  3. Drew Barth says:

    I have to dissagre. What you are basically saying is that the people who go to NA/AA or anyother anonymous program, have a moral deficiency. That couldnt be further from the truth. Addiction is real. The DISEASE of addiction is just as real as the cup of coffee you drank this mornging. I know this because I am an addict who suffers from addiction. I first learn about this thing call the disease o addiction almost 5 and half years ago. I had reached a point in my life where drugs had completely taken over. I tired church, thereapy, hypnosis, medication, anything I could to stop but I couldnt do. I could not stop on my own. My using progressed to the point to where it lead me to a 7×8 cell for 2 years. You see, its not the drugs that makes me an addict. Its my reaction to the drugs once i put them in. Just because someone uses drugs doesnt make them addict. I have family members that I got high with on occation and they didnt go down the same path I went. They all got married and had kids and became productive members of society. But not me. Why? I, along with a lot of people I know believe that its hereditary. My biological parents were both addicts. They left me a at a daycare when i was 6 weeks old. I dont share that for your simpathy. I share that because of the efffect it had on my life. It left me with feelings of abandonment, neglect and no self worth, so i turned to something that I felt would make those feelings go away. I started smoking marijuana and drinkning when I was 13. Finally, I felt, I had found my release. My out. I loved the euphoric feeling I got from the combination. But with that I found my behavors began to increase negitivetly and change. I was already acusstom to lying and stealing, manipulating and cheating. But once I began using on a regular, these behaviors became drastic. I began to skip classes here and there in school. Pretty soon I was skipping once a day which led to 3 days in a row. I made sure to always have an aliby but my schools and parnets caught on. The punishments I recieved didnt bother me. It wasnt until I got out of high school that my using really took off. I began to try different drugs. The bews and joints were good but I wanted something else. Something that would really set the bar. I found cocaine. And from there my life spiraled down in a hurry. I found myself stealing from family, friends, and complete strangers and then pawning everything that I stole. Thousands of dollars of merchandise and letting it go for just a few dollars. Most of the time I was with someone or a group of people. I was doing these things to support my habbit but to feel apart of as well. To be accepted. This lasted for years until one day I recieved a knock on my door. The person behind that knock was a detective who arrested me for burglary, grand larceny and assault and battery high and aggrevated nature. I spent 2 years behind a metal door and concrete walls. During my incarceration I was introduced to Narcotics Anonymous. I learned about my behavior patterns and about the disease of addiction. I have clean now for a little over 5 years. During my time staying clean and working a program I have worked in treatment and ran half way houses for addicts and alcoholics. I was watched dear friends relapse and stay out and die. I have buried more people than I care to admit, all to this horrid disease. The disease affects every area of life of those who are suffering from it. The addicts brain is not wired the way a “normal” person brian is. We do not think like you. We obsess over anything and we act on those obsessions if we dont have a solid spirtual progam we are working. We take things to the max. We cannot have just one of anything. And if someone does something we have to do it bigger and better. I am insulted when you insinuate that addiction is not a disease, because it is. Do you suffer from it personally? Have you ever experienced the pain and emotional tourment that is suffered by the addict? If you havent then you hold no experience. Im willing to go out on a ledge and say that you have “text book” knowledge of addiction. So please, dont pass judgement on something you have no experience on.

  4. Drew Barth says:

    I have to dissagre. What you are basically saying is that the people who go to NA/AA or anyother anonymous program, have a moral deficiency. That couldnt be further from the truth. Addiction is real. The DISEASE of addiction is just as real as the cup of coffee you drank this mornging. I know this because I am an addict who suffers from addiction. I first learn about this thing call the disease o addiction almost 5 and half years ago. I had reached a point in my life where drugs had completely taken over. I tired church, thereapy, hypnosis, medication, anything I could to stop but I couldnt do. I could not stop on my own. My using progressed to the point to where it lead me to a 7×8 cell for 2 years. You see, its not the drugs that makes me an addict. Its my reaction to the drugs once i put them in. Just because someone uses drugs doesnt make them addict. I have family members that I got high with on occation and they didnt go down the same path I went. They all got married and had kids and became productive members of society. But not me. Why? I, along with a lot of people I know believe that its hereditary. My biological parents were both addicts. They left me a at a daycare when i was 6 weeks old. I dont share that for your simpathy. I share that because of the efffect it had on my life. It left me with feelings of abandonment, neglect and no self worth, so i turned to something that I felt would make those feelings go away. I started smoking marijuana and drinkning when I was 13. Finally, I felt, I had found my release. My out. I loved the euphoric feeling I got from the combination. But with that I found my behavors began to increase negitivetly and change. I was already acusstom to lying and stealing, manipulating and cheating. But once I began using on a regular, these behaviors became drastic. I began to skip classes here and there in school. Pretty soon I was skipping once a day which led to 3 days in a row. I made sure to always have an aliby but my schools and parnets caught on. The punishments I recieved didnt bother me. It wasnt until I got out of high school that my using really took off. I began to try different drugs. The bews and joints were good but I wanted something else. Something that would really set the bar. I found cocaine. And from there my life spiraled down in a hurry. I found myself stealing from family, friends, and complete strangers and then pawning everything that I stole. Thousands of dollars of merchandise and letting it go for just a few dollars. Most of the time I was with someone or a group of people. I was doing these things to support my habbit but to feel apart of as well. To be accepted. This lasted for years until one day I recieved a knock on my door. The person behind that knock was a detective who arrested me for burglary, grand larceny and assault and battery high and aggrevated nature. I spent 2 years behind a metal door and concrete walls. During my incarceration I was introduced to Narcotics Anonymous. I learned about my behavior patterns and about the disease of addiction. I have clean now for a little over 5 years. During my time staying clean and working a program I have worked in treatment and ran half way houses for addicts and alcoholics. I was watched dear friends relapse and stay out and die. I have buried more people than I care to admit, all to this horrid disease. The disease affects every area of life of those who are suffering from it. The addicts brain is not wired the way a “normal” person brian is. We do not think like you. We obsess over anything and we act on those obsessions if we dont have a solid spirtual progam we are working. We take things to the max. We cannot have just one of anything. And if someone does something we have to do it bigger and better. I am insulted when you insinuate that addiction is not a disease, because it is. Do you suffer from it personally? Have you ever experienced the pain and emotional tourment that is suffered by the addict? If you havent then you hold no experience. Im willing to go out on a ledge and say that you have “text book” knowledge of addiction. So please, dont pass judgement on something you have no experience on.

  5. Cali Estes - The Addictions Coach says:

    According to the DSM V addiction is no longer classified as a DISEASE. It is now a DISORDER. Yes, I have personally suffered with an addiction, 2 actually. Please read my website and you will see that. We have been calling eating addiction a disorder for years, now it is time to address there is more then genetics at play with drugs and alcohol. I do NOT believe it is a disease that is incurable. I do not believe in surrendering…..if you surrender you give up. Who wants to give up? makes no sense to me….so I get the clients that do NOT want to give up, they want to live and thy want to figure out WHY they do what they do…and when we figure it out we work on fixing it and when we address the CAUSE not the SYMPTOM……..guess what happens? The addiction gets less and less and less……….so No I do not think AA/NA is the end all be all. It can help sure, like many tools in your tool box but it is but one tool.

  6. Cali Estes - The Addictions Coach says:

    According to the DSM V addiction is no longer classified as a DISEASE. It is now a DISORDER. Yes, I have personally suffered with an addiction, 2 actually. Please read my website and you will see that. We have been calling eating addiction a disorder for years, now it is time to address there is more then genetics at play with drugs and alcohol. I do NOT believe it is a disease that is incurable. I do not believe in surrendering…..if you surrender you give up. Who wants to give up? makes no sense to me….so I get the clients that do NOT want to give up, they want to live and thy want to figure out WHY they do what they do…and when we figure it out we work on fixing it and when we address the CAUSE not the SYMPTOM……..guess what happens? The addiction gets less and less and less……….so No I do not think AA/NA is the end all be all. It can help sure, like many tools in your tool box but it is but one tool.

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