They say addiction is a disease, but they don’t act that way.  If people believed addiction was a disease things would be different in our Country.   Yes, the doctors and the government officials all call addiction a disease but they don’t treat it like it is a disease.  If they did when someone overdosed they wouldn’t be let back onto the streets in four hours.  The hospital would know that they need to keep the patient until a long-term bed could be found.  Acknowledging that someone with the disease of addiction who just overdosed is much more likely to die than any other patient they will see besides the trauma patients.  They don’t do any of these things though.  Because they don’t treat addiction as a disease.

If law enforcement viewed addiction as a disease then surely people wouldn’t get arrested for addiction related issues. People wouldn’t be spending their lives in jail over drugs.  The police would get people into treatment instead of placing them in prison. Every police officer would carry Narcan.  The officers time would be spent providing hope and support instead of handcuffs that do nothing besides adding more stigma and guilt.

Everyone says Addiction is not a disease, its a choice.  You have heard this argument, and even if you have never said it out loud, you have thought it.  At least I have, and I am an addict

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Did you know that people with diabetes can relapse?  They sure can.  They stop following doctors orders by not checking their sugar and not eating properly.  People with diabetes relapse all the time but doctors don’t shame them.  They go out of their way to get that patient back on track.  Why? Managing disease is hard.  That includes heart disease.  How many of you fail to take your blood pressure meds correctly?  Are you following the diet that your doctor set out for you?

Let me guess you don’t think that heart disease and diabetes is anything like an addiction because addiction is a choice, right?  Well isn’t most diabetes brought on by diet and lack of physical activity? Type 2 diabetes is caused by the choices that the patient made and continues to make.  What about heart disease?  Isn’t that often brought on by the same things?

Addiction is caused by using that first drug.  Most of us made that same choice at one time or another.  How many people can honestly say they have never had a drink, smoked a joint or taken a pain pill?  If you didn’t get addicted then awesome for you.  You are lucky.  That means you don’t have the disease of addiction.  See I know many addicts that can eat as many donuts as they want and their sugar won’t spike at all.  That is awesome for them…that means they don’t have diabetes.

Cookies and fast food are causing Diabetes all over the world.  The last time I checked cookies don’t force you to eat them, so the person with diabetes is making a choice, that led to their disease. I don’t know about you but not once when I was buying ice cream, and white bread did I worry that a police officer was going to pull me over and catch it on me.  Why is that?  If the argument is that addiction is a choice, then let’s declassify diabetes and heart “disease.”

So why do they call addiction a disease when they don’t believe that it is?  Is it a new concept?  No, it’s been classified as a disease since the 80’s.  Maybe that is still too new; I don’t know.  Maybe they are trying to train us into believing that it is a disease. I know what some of you are thinking.  You think that calling addiction a disease is something that addicts want and you refuse to buy into that bull, right?  I get it.  I used opiates for twenty years, and I would laugh when people would tell me addiction was a disease until I listened to Dr. Ruth Potee giving her talk called Addiction is a Brain Disease.  Dr. Potee breaks it down, and I found not only understanding of myself but peace knowing that I wasn’t just a bad person.

Please take the time to watch Dr. Ruth Potee explain exactly why addiction is a disease and ask why we aren’t treating it accordingly.

I never wanted to be an addict.  When I had my first drink or drug, I planned on having fun like everyone else and not looking back.  Something happen though, I felt for the first time happy and what I imagined normal was.  Even though I wasn’t addicted that first time, I knew by the end of it that I wanted to feel it again.  So I did, over and over until I had not only a mental addiction but a physical one.

So like Richard Jones said in the rant that inspired this post…Stop calling it a disease if you aren’t going to treat it like one.  It’s almost as insulting as when you use words like junkie.  It’s time to demand that addiction is treated as a disease.  Just calling it a disease isn’t enough anymore.

Please follow Richard Jones.  He runs the recovery and activist group called, Recovery Cartel on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

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