There are different types of addictions in the world that include drug, sexual, eating, and television addictions. Over 40% of the American population is affected by one or more addictions (Ross, 2010). Addictions are habits that one acquires, and after practicing the habits for sometimes, it becomes impossible to function without practicing the given habit. Drug addiction is a condition that emanates from taking drugs such as alcohol and cocaine for fun. Soon the body becomes dependent on drugs, and one cannot function without the drugs.
There is a constant debate on whether drug addiction is a disease or a habit. If classified as a choice, it encourages addicts to take the initiative and say no to drugs. They acquire the necessary will power to stop the addiction. If addiction is termed as a disease, addicts stop feeling ashamed of their condition and seek treatment. Addiction can therefor fall under the disease or choice category depending on how one approaches the issue. It is a choice because one requires the mind to decide, while it is a disease because one needs medication to heal. This paper is therefore focused on discussing whether addiction is a choice or a disease depending on how one gets addicted and how they get out of addiction.
People get addicted to drugs for different reasons. When one is born, they are born with a free will and are also free from any preference. A child does not know what is bad or good, but they learn as they grow up. Consequently, a child or an adult is exposed to drugs as they grow up. For instance, a child can know about drugs through parents who use them. A child can also learn about drugs on the television or through friends. As the child learns about drugs, they either get attracted or repel the drugs. Those who become drug addicts choose to drink or take hard drugs. Further, if one’s parents are addicts, they are also likely to become addicts themselves. Therefore, addiction can be termed as either a choice that a person makes or a disease that is awakened by a slight use of drugs.
Addiction settles in when one takes drugs and is unable to control how they use them (Schaler, 2011). Further, the drugs become their priority and everything else including studies and family are dictated by drug usage. Drug usage starts as a normal routine where in most instance one uses alcohol or cigarettes to relax with friends. As the habit continues, one becomes a regular at a bar and they take more than what they used to take before the addiction took over. Addiction becomes full blown when one is unable to live without the usage of drugs and they make the drugs a priority. The drug addict should go for rehabilitation or therapy to help them stop the habit. Further, one should make up their mind that they will not use drugs anymore for the treatment to work.
Unborn children can become exposed to drugs if their parents, especially the mother, takes drugs while pregnant or while breast feeding. The unborn baby can take drugs through the placenta as it is transferred from the mother to them. Similarly, a breastfeeding mother can pass drugs to the child through the breast milk. As the child grows up they can easily become addicts of they involve themselves with drugs because the drugs are already in their systems. However, it is not a guarantee that the child must be an addict because it depends on whether they will start taking the drugs or not. Addiction can therefore be far fetched from the time the child is unborn to when they are toddlers. A mother preparing to get pregnant is also advised against using any drugs so that her system can be free of any drugs when they get the baby. If there are strong drugs in the system, they might affect the unborn baby and if the baby grows up and uses drugs, they can easily become addicts.
A choice is a conscious decision that one makes, as they have to select between two or more options (Gruenert, 2010). One makes a choice depending on their preference and goals in life. One might have a preference of going to the bar or choosing friends who use drugs. As a result, they end up becoming addicts as they choose to have addicted friends. Moreover, drug addiction can be termed as a choice because a drug user decides whether to take a drug or not. For instance, if a boy goes to a friend’s party and get free alcohol and heroine being used, he can decide whether to take the alcohol and use the heroine. The decision to take Alcohol or heroine is however dictated by their personal preference, their principles, background, and what they want in life.one might chose to use the drugs because everyone else is doing so, therefore, showing that they are easily influenced by the latest trends. If one choses to abstain from the drugs, it shows that they have strong principles. Addiction can therefore be termed as a choice as one has the free will to decide whether they want to take a drug or not.
While undergoing treatment, drug addiction is termed as a choice. One should decide to stop taking drugs for him or her to stop being addicts (Gruenert, 2010). Over a half of addicts who check in rehabilitation centers relapse. On the contrary, over 10% of or drug addicts who decide to do away with the addiction and do not go for any treatment but are able to stop the addiction successfully. This is a clear indication that drug addiction is a choice that one makes in their mind. One can choose to stop the addiction or to refrain from becoming an addict altogether. Decisions that one makes concerning drugs should be made wisely because addiction is expensive to maintain.
If one comes from a family of drug addicts, they are in many cases likely to become addicts. However, this depends on their choice to start drugs or to refrain from them. If one does not use drugs then they will not awaken the addiction. However, if one takes the drugs they are most likely to become addicts because they already have the drugs in their system through their bloodline. Similarly, people who were addicts before can easily relapse if they choose to take drugs again. The choice to take drugs depends on one’s will power to say no to drugs. One can choose to stay away from situations and people who make them use drugs. Further, they can choose to stay clean for the sake of their own dignity and to be able to achieve their goals. Addiction therefore depends on ones ability to choose between refraining from drugs or taking them.
A disease is commonly expounded as the malfunction of a specific body part, has signs and symptoms, and does not necessarily emerge from physical injury (Hensher, Rose & Greene, 2015). If an arm is aching, it means that the arm could be infected. Addiction fits the definition of a disease because it affects the mind fist. The mind becomes sick not because of any physical injury but because of the thinking that an addict does. Drugs stimulate the brain first and excite the user. As a result, the user takes more drugs to continue exciting their minds. The more drugs one takes, the more they become dependent on drugs. Addiction therefore settles in because of the mind malfunctioning. Drugs change the normal functioning of the brain and as a result, a drug addict is sick in the brain. The condition affects the way one thinks as they only choose to take drugs in a bid to excite their brains.
Addiction can be termed as a disease because it can be inherited(“Drug Addiction and Families”, 2007). For instance, if a father is an addict, a child can easily become an addict if he or she uses drugs at one point in their lives. Addiction is therefore in an addict’s blood and only waits to be awakened by the use of drugs. Thus, addiction can be classified together with other diseases such as hypertension where the user is a patient is more likely to suffer if their parents suffered from the condition. As an inherited disease, addiction affects those people who got access to drugs as fetus or as toddlers. Children whose mothers took drugs while pregnant or while breastfeeding are candidates of the addiction disease. Addiction can therefore be passed on from parents to children just like obesity as it is in the genes.
For drug addiction to be termed as a disease, there should be symptoms and signs. For instance, the condition of excessive drug usage can be termed as an addiction if the user is dependent on drugs to function. Sometimes addicts shake or develop other complications such as liver failure due to excessive usage of drugs (Gruenert, 2010). During treatment, drug addiction is treated like a disease because one has to undergo medical treatment. Patients are detoxified in a bid to remove the toxic drugs in their system. Rehabilitation centers are a common place where addicts get the necessary treatment. Besides using medicine, addicts are taught to avoid relapse by changing things that prompt them to use drugs. Therapy is also an important part of drug treatment as a patient is able to talk about their problem to a therapist of a group of other addicts. The therapy sessions are similar to those that depression patients undergo and therefore drug addiction can be termed as a disease just like depression.
Drug addiction prompts debate on whether it is a disease or a choice. Choices are made consciously, but a disease settles in unexpectedly. If termed as a decease, it shows that addiction comes in without the addict or those around him or her noticing. Most of the time, people get into addiction due to their change in habits. Those around an addict are more aware that an addict is getting into addiction. While getting into addition, an addict can be a frequent at a bar or a drug den. They become more familiar with the people at the bar or get to know who is a dealer in a given estate.
As the addiction becomes more noticeable when the patient starts show in physical signs to other people such as sleeping a lot or shaking while not high on drugs. It is a clear indication that their body is already programed to function with the help of drugs.an addict is most likely to stop their daily routine to pursue taking drugs. They can stop going to school or work to be able to buy and take drugs. They can stop going to school or work to be able to buy and take drugs. If they run out of money, they easily steal or borrow to get drugs. The brain is no longer excited by the use of drugs as it was initially, but it becomes dependent on the drugs, as it cannot function without drugs. The brain shuts down when an addict is not ion drugs and that is why addicts sleep for long hours.
Addiction can, therefore, be termed as a choice because an addict has a choice to take drugs or not. If one comes from an addicted bloodline, they also have a choice to take drugs or not. The moment they start taking drugs they awaken the addiction in them. While treating addiction in rehabilitation centers, an addict is taught how to say no to drugs by restructuring their minds. The addict’s choice to say no to drugs extends to avoiding the people who lure them to addiction. If an addicted is not fully decided to stop the addiction, they will most likely get back to the addiction. Teaching addicts how to say no to drugs shows that addiction is more of a mind system where one can say no. An addict finds reasons and not excuses saying no. for instance, they find the reason of getting back to school rather than an excuse of been seen sober. Saying no or yes makes all the difference because those are choices. Addiction can, therefore, be classified as a choice rather than a disease.
Addiction starts as a habit where one makes frequent visits to a bar. At this point one has a choice to say no to drugs and can avoid taking drugs. Moreover, when one gets very addicted to drugs, they can decide that they do not want to take drugs and seek help. Help is found in family, friends, church, and rehabilitation centers. The addicts who do not take the rehabilitation path become clean by changing their habits and their friends. It is therefore possible to put an end to an addiction if one decides. One’s brain is their strongest asset and therefore one can make a decision to stop drugs. Deciding to stop drugs can sometimes be accompanied by medication if the patient had contracted other conditions such as liver disease. However, firm decision-making cannot be substituted by any kind of treatment. Deciding to stop drugs can sometimes be accompanied by medication if the patient had contracted other conditions such as liver disease. However, firm decision-making cannot be substituted by any kind of treatment.
Rehabilitation canters only act as places to help people make the right decision, but they cannot prevent an individual from going back to drugs. The over 50% addicts who relapse are not fully decided to fight addiction. One has to decide that they will not take drugs no matter how stressed or available the drugs are. Personal choices are what influence addiction and therefore addiction is a choice and not as disease.
Drug addiction can be termed as a disease or a choice depending on how one looks at it. It is a choice because a person who takes drugs has the willpower to say no to drugs. Further, one takes drug because they want to take them. On the other hand, it is a disease because when an addict gets deep in the addiction, they cannot function without the drugs. They depend on medical treatment to get well. Detoxing is a major way that drug addiction utilizes medication for treatment. Drug addiction can be termed as a choice with the goal of helping addicts say no to drugs. Further, the addicts can be encouraged to seek treatment by telling them that they are sick. An addict can put a stop to their addiction by making the right choices without necessarily going for treatment. For a person to undergo treatment and remain clean, they should make up their mind to stop drugs. Rehabilitation, medication, and therapy are ways of helping an addict get sober faster butare not a means of getting addicts entirely clean. Addiction can be termed as a choice rather than a disease.