DISCLAIMER: This post is purely my personal opinion.
Addiction is classified as a disease. But, is it actually a disease or a choice?
As a former addict and someone who has been clean dealing with another addict, I am absolutely more than qualified to give my opinion on this topic.
So, is it a disease or a choice? In my opinion, it is both. But how? How can it be both? Well, I will tell you. The act of getting high is a CHOICE. The terrible things that an addict may do or say are a CHOICE. An addict knows right from wrong. The fact that the addict doesn’t care is the DISEASE portion.
The part of the classification of addiction being a disease that pisses me off is this: some addicts and their enablers use this as a crutch. An addict will say, “I have a disease; I can’t help what I do.”. Oh, but yes, yes you damn sure can. As I said previously, an addict still knows right from wrong. But, the addict just doesn’t care about anything other than the high.
A lot of addicts will say they hate the person they’ve become. And most who say this do. But that doesn’t change the fact that they feel they need their poison of choice; what they feel takes all the pain away, all the hate away, all the feeling away. They become numb. They don’t have to deal with things like sober folks do. They don’t have to think or feel anything other than the high, other than the good. It’s their escape from reality. An escape that can cost everything they have ever known and loved, and some end up losing their life.
I do not feel sorry for addicts. I do not pity them. An addict has the choice to get out of the life at any time. And the addict has to make that choice. On occasion, an intervention will open the eyes of an addict, depending on the support he/she has been getting from those who have been enablers. Sadly, however, most of the time, it does not.
Do not be an enabler. Do not give money, rides, a place to stay, bail from jail, etc. to an addict. Most have to hit rock bottom before making a change. And it can be extremely hard to allow and watch someone you care about heading down that spiral and hitting that bottom. But a lot of the time, it is the only thing that can be done. What can you do for an addict? Talk to them. Love them from a distance. If you pray, pray for them. Protect your own physical and mental health. And if they ask for help with their addiction, if they admit they have a problem, and they say they need help, you help them. You help them find some rehab, some counseling, all while remaining cautious. Most will relapse. Some will come back out of it, some will not. Those who are able to get clean will be in recovery for the rest of their life.
Bottom line, addiction is the shits. It’s a shitty situation for everyone involved. All you can do is stay strong.