Definition of Disease Addiction, Why are even debating?

Why is there a debate about whether or not addiction is a disease?  Most people relate disease to a loved one with cancer or a friend who is incapable of getting better by the removal of a specific action. The reality is, health  is defined by The World Health Organization’s as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” How many of us genuinely have health? Are we mentally ok, physically ok and socially satisfied? Are we raising our children in a healthy environment? Has someone finally figured out the right way to parent, because it seems like every generation is learning the last age was wrong?

With every Nature vs. Nurture argument, we land somewhere in the middle. I find addiction to be caused by a genetic predisposition that can be more apparent due to environmental causes. Addiction can become relevant after a traumatic experience that was stuffed and not healed, shame from your parents, a poor sense of self-development, easily influenced by others, and lack of connection.

Even with genetic predisposition, you’re not guaranteed to have your illness develop into a disease just like not everyone who is hypoglycemic develops diabetes. We can raise children who can overcome the trauma of a divorce or abuse, but first, we have to all acknowledge a part in the process.

Why are we even arguing?

Are we arguing whether or not addiction is a disease due to concerns around the healthcare budget or are we arguing because we are pissed off at the loved one that won’t stop?  Opioid overdose is the leading cause of death for adults under fifty, and that number continues to rise.

Opioid overdose visits to the emergency department increased by 30% from July 2016 to September 2017, according to the latest Vital Signs report.

If we want the affect of addiction to stop affecting families, we need to find ways as a community to impact it. Center for disease control believes detecting trends of this fast-moving epidemic and developing a coordinated response can help communities better prevent opioid overdoses and death.

Arguing over formality in wording just seems insane! Are we an unhappy married couple fighting about why the child has an illness? That doesn’t make sense! PEOPLE ARE DYING !!!! WHO CARES IF ITS A DISEASE OR A CHOICE THE POINT IS WE NEED HELP.

Definition of Disease compared to addiction

I have compiled a list of definitions of disease and then compared them to addiction to shed some light on the peculiar nature of this debate. I will then discuss my opinions on why I believe this debate came about in the first place.

Definition Number 1: a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.

Addiction most certainly is a habit, most people who begin using drugs do not do it consistently or regularly, but it develops into a habit and then a physical addiction which continues. We all know habits are hard to break. Addiction adversely affects a person’s health, and it affects the lives of everyone they love.

Definition 2: a particular destructive process in an organ or organism, with a specific cause and characteristic symptoms; specif., an illness; ailment.

Addiction has a destructive process on all of the body and its organs. The effect alcohol has on the life is very specific, and the symptoms result in a physical craving!

Definition 3: A condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful.

Do I need to elaborate?

Addiction meets the definition; it affects society and people, it causes death and progressively gets worse.

Arguing whether or not addiction is a disease is only recreating a shame mentality and fueling the stigma. Addicts and alcoholics who get sober become contributing members of society.  We need to ask ourselves why do we live in a country were diabetes is normal, but addiction is stigmatized?

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