Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Help Header

The Drug Addiction Disease Theory - is Drug Addiction a Disease?

The Drug Addiction Disease concept is a really controversial topic - so before you do anything I want you to read about what I had to say about it on my alcoholism as a disease page, where I go into a few medical criteria for disease classification. (Make sure you do this before reading further.)

And according to those criteria, alcoholism can be classified as a disease and those same criteria that apply to alcoholism naturally also apply to drug addiction so the drug addiction disease concept also holds up.

But I know you might disagree so what I want to talk to you about here is the opposing idea that drug addiction is just a state of mind.

You might think addiction or dependency is simply a sign of weakness where the addict simply has no self-control in managing his using or drinking and that with a bit of will power and determination, it could easily be overcome.

From my own experience, I can tell you that as far as will power went, compared to all my friends and acquaintances I always used to regard myself as having a far stronger mind and resolute will than any of them. (It's a trait you'll find in many addicts.)

Yet when it came to alcohol and drugs I simply couldn't say no - and the other distinguishing feature of my using was that when everyone else had said they’d had enough, I always wanted more. I could never get enough so unless I passed out I would always end up using or drinking more than my friends.

You see - you need to understand that an addict or alcoholic has a compulsion or urge to drink or use that is so strong so that no matter how strong willed they may be in all other areas of their lives, when it comes to the drink or drug of their choice they cannot say no.

So addiction is certainly not a case of will where the user has no self-control and is weak. It’s much more than that, something far more powerful. Simple will power and determination won’t cure an addict.

Drug Addiction as a Disease - Does it Matter?

So what is my personal take on the drug addiction disease theory vs the mental strength/state of mind arguments?

My view when comparing these two schools of thought is to take a balanced, common sense view to them both. Yes I do see there as being a lot of merit for regarding addiction as a disease. Once it’s got you in it’s web, a bit of will power and positive thinking certainly won’t set you free.

However using that as an excuse or crutch to say that because it’s a disease, “there’s nothing I can do because I have no control over it” doesn’t wash with me either. That’s where I support the second school of thought, that just like any other disease whether it be cancer or diabetes, you have got to get it seen to, advised on and managed so that you can live a healthy and successful life, despite the addiction.

It takes a huge amount of responsibility and courage to do this so even though will power won’t get you to stop your addiction permanently, will power will get you to ask for help,into treatment and doing all the things you’re supposed to do to manage your addiction successfully - and that will keep you clean and sober for the rest of your life.

Addiction is about getting real, real to the fact of what you’re stuck with, yet real enough to also realise that it can be managed successfully and still allow you to live a peaceful, happy and prosperous life.

So at the end of the day it doesn't matter whether you support or don't support the drug addiction disease theory because the most important part of dealing with drug addiction is what you do about it at the end of the day and the action you take.

So don't forget to go back and read about the alcoholism is a disease argument to get the generally accepted medical criteria about what classifies addiction as a disease. The definition of drug addiction addiction and the addiction/alcoholism and genetics link are also worth a look.

Tell Us Your Opinion: What Do You Think About the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Disease Concept? Share Your Opinion Here

FREE E-Course

"10 Essential Steps to Ending a Life of Alcoholism or Drug Addiction ... Permanently!"

This Course is packed full of valuable information and advice for overcoming addiction that you're unlikely to find anywhere else.

And if you subscribe now - we'll throw in a Special eBook that will help immensely in your struggle against addiction.

Don't worry - your e-mail
address is totally secure.
Your details will NEVER be sold and you will NOT be spammed.

What is this?
Add to My Yahoo!
My MSN RSS button
Add to Google

Copyright © 2013 - - All Rights Reserved.