Addiction Is a Disease
Many people believe the misconception that an addiction is a moral problem and not a disease. To better understand the reasons why an additicition is in fact a disease; I will identify several types of addictions, and the problems associated with them. I will examine reasons why certain people are more susceptible for developing an addiction. Also, I will determine why many addicts deny their problems and many recovery methods addicts use to fight their illness. Researching these issues, will help aid my claim that addiction is a disease.
Addictions can form from using mood altering drugs such as, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and caffeine, or behavioral processes as with gambling, eating, sex or shopping (Schwartz 21). Schwartz
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Even when an addict is confronted by others about their addiction, the addict still fails to recognize their problem. Often an addiction may cause a person to blame their problems on someone else in an effort to divert attention away from their addiction. Custer and Milt demonstrate the power of denial by using the example of a smoker’s attitude towards smoking (123). A smoker is aware of the damaging effects of smoking and that it can cause heart disease, lung cancer and other severe health conditions. Research provides a vast amount of conclusive evidence supporting the negative consequences of smoking. A smoker’s addiction can be so strong that they choose to ignore the reality that they are exposing themselves to harmful conditions that could result in illness or death. They decide to ignore the research composed of the undisputable adverse consequences of smoking and tune out all negative information pertaining to smoking. They come up with an array of explanations as to why they should not quit smoking. Since denial is a defense mechanism imbedded in the brain, it is often difficult to admit that there is a problem.
Helping addicts acknowledge their addiction is often difficult. There are several recovery methods that can be used to help overcome addiction. A few things that can help in the recovery process are medication, treatment centers, and support groups.