Addiction a disease? Really?
The debate about the nature of addiction has raged for decades. Is it disease? Is it a matter of choice? Is it a weakness of character? A moral failing? Today, the most widespread and prevalent view is that addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease. The majority of addiction treatment centres in the US and the UK address addiction from a disease perspective, prescribing total abstinence from the offset and using the twelve Steps as their treatment method.
So why is there still a debate about the disease concept of addiction? it doesn’t happen with other diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease or multiple sclerosis. Well, basically because:
- addiction has little in common with any disease that we know of
- the current methods of addressing it don’t make sense from a disease management point of view
- the foundational elements that the disease concept is based on, can be disproved by multiple sources of evidence.
First of all let’s look at some of the principles that drive the disease concept and the evidence the refutes it. [Read more…]