Is Drug Addiction a Disease or a Choice? (The Answer May Surprise You!)

is drug addiction a disease

In the US, 10% of adults have had some type of drug use disorder in their lives. That means when you take a 10-person group fo your friends, at least 1 of them has struggled with addiction before.

If you’re curious about this subject, then a question that might’ve crossed your mind is: is drug addiction a disease? Read on to find out more about drug addiction.

Is Drug Addiction a Disease?

You may have heard some people say that drug addiction is a disease, not a choice. After all, no one sets out to do drugs and become an addict willingly.

There are many addiction factors to think about, such as your genetics. For instance, the threshold for addiction can be a lot lower for one person when compared to another. For them, it may take just one hit of heroin to become an addict, while another person can take several and break the habit quite easily.

Also, drug addiction literally changes how your brain works. These can be such profound changes that even if you cease use of the substance completely, your body will still take long-term damage. Because of this, addiction can be classified as a disease when viewed in this light.

Is Drug Addiction a Choice?

Drug addiction isn’t exactly a choice. Again, no one picks up a drug habit and aims to become dependent on it.

However, as you may have guessed, addiction is indirectly a choice because the person chooses to partake in illicit substances. If a person wants to avoid any chance of addiction, then the best option is to avoid using drugs at all; abstinence is the only way to avoid a drug dependency.

Of course, that may be easier said than done. Many people struggle with past traumas and/or mental health issues, and a good number of them don’t seek professional help. Instead, they self-medicate with drugs, which can quickly spiral out of control.

So don’t be so quick to judge people if you think addiction is solely a “choice.” Sometimes, a person may feel like they have no options to escape their personal demons and will turn to drugs as an outlet.

Drug Addiction Is a Tough Road

Now you know the answer to the question: is drug addiction a disease?

Basically, drug addiction is a disease, but it’s also somewhat of a choice as well. As you can see, addiction is something that’s very complicated and isn’t a black or white subject.

In any case, you need to remember to be mindful of and compassionate to those who are struggling. What we do know is that with the right support, those with drug dependencies can lead a sober life again.

So be a strong pillar of support for your loved ones if they’re dealing with a substance abuse issue. They’ll definitely be thankful for it!

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