Is Addiction A Choice?

Whether someone suffers from an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or sex, addiction isn’t something you wish upon another person. Human nature is flawed and some of us have a higher vulnerability to becoming an addict. Unfortunately, the stigma addicts face is that addiction is a choice. The poor understanding of addiction is something that can cause an addict who desperately needs help to avoid entering a treatment center.

Is Addiction A Choice?

The debate of choice versus disease is one with a long history. The founder of the 12-step program, Bill W., believed that addiction was a disease and that it was also treatable. Addiction isn’t unlike other diseases in which some individuals are at higher risk for developing due to their environment and/or genetics. There are studies that show when individuals have addiction in their family their risks for becoming an addict increase. Additionally, there are strong links between lifestyle and addiction.

Addiction is also similar to other diseases in the amount of pain and distress it causes. That pain will often make individuals turn on loved ones and resent them when they are struggling with addiction because everyone including the addict suffers consequences of the disease. People think that an addict in their life is selfish and only loves him or herself because they are making the choice to use. As more research into addiction is done, we have learned that addiction is no choice, but rather it is a disease.

Why Is Addiction A Disease And Not A Choice?

We are made differently. It is very common to speak with a healthy adult that has drunk an alcoholic beverage in their life and tried some type of drug at some point too. That doesn’t mean that the individual who has tried alcohol at drugs has had them take over their life. Some people can have a drink or try a drug and move on. Others simply cannot. Individuals who struggle control when in the presence of alcohol or drugs are referred to as having “ism.” 

The body and mind will actually change with the introduction of drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse has a negative effect on the brain’s functioning due to the various chemicals that are released. Drugs and alcohol can impact the brain by making it feel satisfied and good. As the user continues to ingest alcohol or drugs, the brain continues to trigger these rewarding feelings with the substance. Then, in the absence of the substance, addicts have a difficult time obtaining these gratifying feelings. The brain now requires the substance to produce positive feelings.

Addiction is a disease of the brain. Unfortunately, because addiction so dramatically affects the brain’s functioning even if an addict is successful in getting sober, they are still quite vulnerable to relapse. The changes in the brain are such that it will last a lifetime cause a person to have a much lower willpower threshold. 

How Can Treatment Help You Become Sober?

Is Addiction A ChoiceTreatment by a professional or team of professionals at a medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center gives addicts the tools and resources to understand these changes and to combat lowered willpower. This is terrific news for addicts. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, there is hope and you can be treated. When you are open to treatment and to healing, you can do it.

The medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place in Tennessee have the support and tools you need to beat your addiction, to heal your body and mind, and to remain sober after treatment. Call our Tennessee detox alternative treatment center anytime at 1-800-725-0922.


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