Do you believe addiction is a disease?

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  1. Mike Wyn profile image88
    Mike Wynposted 23 months ago

    Do you believe addiction is a disease?

    There are just about as many opinions as there are people. But opinions are sometimes nothing more than urban myths passed on as empirical fact. Addiction is the type of topic where uninformed opinion spreads like the Zika virus. New research in the neuroscience of addiction has led to a better understanding and created medical interventions that need to go mainstream. So what do you think about addiction as a medical issue?

  2. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image96
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 23 months ago

    In my life I've seen people who after one solitary beer change into a completely different person than they'd been before the drink. But I can drink daily and lots without ill effects.

    I can consume about two tenths of a gram of amphetamine and become completely terrified by everything - but I've seen people who daily can consume ten times that much, and go to sleep every single night.

    So people are different. What a drug does to you is one thing, but what it does to someone else can be something entirely incomprehensible to you.

    So I do not believe in evil drugs. And I do not believe using any substance is wrong, or should be illegal.

    1. Mike Wyn profile image88
      Mike Wynposted 23 months agoin reply to this

      The variation of drug effects on people is certainly true. But anyone who uses opioids consistently over a relatively short period of time will suffer from physical dependence if not outright addiction. There are also millions of amphetamine addicts2

  3. calreid profile image79
    calreidposted 23 months ago

    I DO believe that addiction is a disease. Unlike Zika, the flu, a cold, etc., it can not be transmitted through the air, blood, and etc. All mental illnesses and diseases are controversial for the fact that you can not see them in a physical sense besides how the affected person is acting and even then you can only make educated guesses on the cause. Regardless of that, they do exist and addiction may very well be one of the worst of them. Addiction is strange because even though there are substances that have more addictive qualities than others, not everyone who uses them will become addicted. There are some people who can drink every night and then just one day stop, but there are some people who will feel physically sick if they did the same. There are so many different opinions on addiction because of these facts. It is mostly a psychological disease, and anyone who has every looked into psychology or taken the class in college knows that every topic has 20 theorists. As I stated before because diseases like this are ones we can not physically see, there will always be a huge controversy.

    1. Mike Wyn profile image88
      Mike Wynposted 23 months agoin reply to this

      Excellent post. However, neurological research reveals the evolution of brain structure and chemistry through prolonged use of intoxicants. Combined with compulsion, addiction is powerful. The use of opioids will produce dependence in a short time.

  4. tamarawilhite profile image90
    tamarawilhiteposted 23 months ago

    No, I do not, because this takes away individual responsibility. You rarely ever intend to catch a disease or pick it up at random. One had to act to get exposed to the substance and continue to act to become addicted.
    Calling it a disease is an effort to de-stigmatize addiction, but by denying personal responsibility, it denies the root cause.

    1. Mike Wyn profile image88
      Mike Wynposted 23 months agoin reply to this

      Here's an example that may give some context to the addiction as a disease debate. Many people successfully rid themselves of type II diabetes by exercising & adopting a healthy diet. No doubt it requires self-initiated change. See the similarity

  5. dashingscorpio profile image88
    dashingscorpioposted 23 months ago

    I suppose it comes down to whether or not one believes there are (mental diseases) in addition to physiological diseases.
    Addiction is primarily a "obsessive impulse behavior" issue that can become {uncontrollable and self-destructive}.
    However addiction may lead to actual physical distress & diseases.
    Cirrhosis of the Liver is not uncommon for an alcohol addicted person or (lung cancer) for a chronic nicotine/tobacco addicted person.
    Even if one doesn't consider alcoholism to be a "disease" no one would argue that (Cirrhosis of the liver) isn't a disease.
    If someone becomes {physically ill} when they can't get whatever it is they're used to having after a few hours there is something wrong.
    It's not "normal" to steal from friends & family, risk losing jobs, a spouse, home, car, and break various laws just to get hold of a substance to use. The addiction is controlling the person.

    1. Mike Wyn profile image88
      Mike Wynposted 23 months agoin reply to this

      Your points are on the money. However, addiction does chage the actual physiology of our most important organ: the brain. Recent neurological studies illustrate, not only in MRI scans,  a chemical rewiring of the frontal lobe's primary jobs.


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