Why Addiction is a Disease

Imagine you’re walking down the hallway of life. You take a left heading one way, and then you take a right heading another. As you pick up the pace, you hear the scuffle of your feet and the after trail of your past and the footprints left in it. You take another left avoiding a specific thing, but shortly follow it with another right in pursuit of that same thing. The mysteries of life come at you and you adjust accordingly. Things seem to be going alright but something is off. There is something missing inside.  Then one day you turn this corner and BAM- full blown alcoholism appears out of nowhere. Like wait- what? How did that happen? Everything was going so well and then all of the sudden it all came crashing down. We never really understand it until we become sober and find different corridors to walk down.    

This pattern of alcoholic thinking abracadabra-ed its way into life and now had put a hold on everything we as addicts and alcoholics cherish. Addiction is a disease and addiction can change a person in the same way that a zoo keeper may wash an elephant- clumsily and with a great deal of confusion. It can be hereditary or it can be developed over the course of time, but either way, once it’s made its debut, it’s here to stay.

Not the Time to Believe in Magic

Clicking the heels of our boots together and wishing for something to go away doesn’t work as easily as the movies make it seem. As much as I would love to elaborate on how calling David Blain up and asking him to remove your alcoholism is the answer to all your problems, I regret to inform that it isn’t. It can’t be gotten rid of just like that- addiction is a disease just like any other. It can be treated but never cured, or at least science has yet to create the right potion to do so yet.  

Addiction is a disease that shares some of the same properties that many other disorders, diseases, and/or irregularities have. For starters, it is completely unwelcomed. When in the world have you had somebody look you directly in the eye and explain they wanted to be homeless and have abscesses on their arms? Never in the history of man has there been a child with ambitions to live a life of misery and remain broke all of the time with an unquenchable chemical hunger to feed. They don’t, but it happens to them despite that. No, addiction is not a biologically degenerative condition nor is it something that can be passed infectiously, but it is something that causes harm to beings all over when every ounce of them wishes they could be rid of said obsession.

The idea that addiction is a disease explains for the behaviors and routines of people that are mentally ill when you really take a good gander at it. Addiction is a disease that literally steals your soul as it envelops the person inflicted into a world of delusion. However, the arguable counterpoint is that addiction is not so much like a disease but a cluster of obsessions and illnesses in an off mindset. The fact that it is a set of behaviors that can be corrected is where the line in the sand gets drawn for those who are skeptical. Essentially, addiction can be broken down into a timeline of events or extreme introspection to understand the psychological events that have occurred or still are occurring and lead you right to the root of the person’s addiction. That’s just one way of describing what the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are. We reap what we sow and are also the successes to our own demises. Often times, addiction is self-manifested and if addiction is a disease, how come understanding the psychological elements of it is what it takes to treat it in many cases?

drug addict reaching for needle and pills

That all being said, remaining that addiction is a disease is important because once again- it is something that never entirely goes away. It is always on the psychological back burner regardless of how you view it. People die prematurely from this disease every single day and it can be guaranteed that it wasn’t in their game plan for that day. That’s the power addiction and alcoholic thinking have on addicts and alcoholics of the like. It changes the way a person processes and rationalizes things in their lives. Addiction is a disease because of how it ropes the affected person into seeking harmful patterns and behaviors despite the detrimental results that follow because of poor choice making. As the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “Remember that we deal with alcohol- cunning, baffling, powerful.” It takes a strong mental hold and can sway whichever way we go with every step.

To be on the outside of it and understand that addiction is a disease and not a weakness is hard to process. There are millions of addicts and alcoholics who would do anything in the world to be able to use normally or drink socially with their friends and family. The reality of the matter is that they don’t drink or take said substance du jour and walk away from it afterward. For addicts and alcoholics- addiction is a disease that when awoken, can be parallel in describing that of a schizophrenic imbalance. Talk about your real like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A using addict versus an addict in recovery is two entirely different beings. As mentioned previously, we can learn to cage our addictions but never end or train them. Like any disease, it’s on us to decide if we want to manage it properly or not.

Recovery- The Insulin of Addiction

This vicious disease will take anybody it can get. Some are able to booze and use a little bit, walk away from it all, and still maintain their sanity as they travel down life’s roads. For the rest of us, this is but a pipe dream. Our lives revolve around the idea of consuming substances and we struggle to find the good in situations as the disease sucks us deeper into darkness. There is hope though and struggling doesn’t have to be the guarantee. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-433-1992 or visit www.anylength.net. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.