Drug Addiction is a Disease
By Rev. Ned Wicker,
Admitting that drug addiction is a disease seems trite on the surface, but people look at drug addiction differently than they view heart disease, or cancer, or the common cold. There is always blame attached to drug addiction. There is always an accusatory finger to be pointed at the one who suffers from drug addiction disease.
Many in society assert that the addict is entirely to blame. There is not the same kind of sympathy for drug addicts that there is for smokers with cancer, or people with diabetes and heart disease. They are not viewed as people suffering from a disease.
The reasoning for society not being sympathetic to the addict is simple. People get hooked because they chose to take the drug in the first place. John Q. Public sees it that way and he can take the moral high ground because he didn't take drugs and somebody else did. Maybe John Q. took the drugs but didn't get hooked. People seeking a thrill might try a street drug like crack cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin because of the â¬Årush, the â¬Åhigh they produce and chronic users are those who have developed a need far beyond merely wanting a thrill.
Prescription medications that are abused, such as OxyContin, are coveted because the effect is intense and even greater than the heroin they get on the street. Even if they don't want a thrill, people can still become addicted to prescription medications just because they take more than the prescribed amount to feel better. In either case, nobody asked for their life to be ruined.
It may start innocently enough, but people get out of control. What started as a lark ends up as an albatross around their neck. It hangs there and the user can't get rid of it. Regardless of how the disease started, the person is no longer in control of it and cannot break free of the disease's power. People may have a few drinks, or enjoy a couple of trips to the buffet table, but sooner or later their body says it's time to stop. With the addict, that â¬Åthing that says stop isn't there. They don't get enough and continue, even long after another person has stopped. It's the inability to stop that causes so much pain and suffering.
Whatever the drug of choice, intervention and treatment are necessary for the addict to return to a healthy lifestyle. The problem for the addict is that society has attached a stigma to the disease. Bad people are drug addicts. Weak people are drug addicts. Undesirable people are drug addicts. No, people become addicts; good people, nice people. The well-educated, the blue collar, the rich, the poor, all colors and types are all potential addicts. They can all contract the disease. No one is exempt.