Addiction has been around since the first humans lived on the earth. Some cultures see addiction as a spiritual problem; other see Addiction as a Character Defect. So if it’s a disease, does this mean I’m crazy if I am addicted?
The reason for this idea that addiction is a disease can be useful, because a disease has a cause (maybe my genes?) and it might therefore have a treatment. Or if it can’t be cured then, maybe, I can get another pill to fix this problem. With the way modern science can find cures for all sorts of conditions, we can keep hoping that we may one day have a magic cure.
Another way of looking at the ‘problem’ of addiction is to say that Society is really the cause. Everyone acts like it’s cool to get high, to get wasted or to indulge in binge gambling and sex. It’s risqué; fashionable and I really stand out from the rest of the crowd. Famous singers and actors use illicit substances every day so it must be okay, right? it must be a cool thing, right?
Clubs and restaurants make money selling alcohol to under age kids and Society fails to stops them. Parents look the other way; club owners don’t think it’s really a problem, and the kids look cool to all their mates. If the police are tipped off about the problem, do they even catch anyone? So yes, we can say that we live in a society where using and abusing substances and alcohol have become really ‘normal’.
So why do some Mental Health professionals and Addiction Counsellors continue to insist that Addiction is a Disease? How does this idea help me, the addict? or my loved one?