One of the most common questions we get at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center is, is addiction a disease or a choice? There is no simple answer to this question. The causes of addiction are varied. When you seek treatment, we help you evaluate your unique causes of substance abuse. We then create a treatment plan that will address these causes. To learn more about the programs at our addiction treatment center, please contact us today at 833.641.0661.
Is Addiction a Disease or a Choice?
Everyone has an opinion: is addiction a disease or a choice? Many people will argue that addiction is a string of bad choices, some will shame you for comparing addiction to a real disease such as cancer, and a few will ask, “Why can’t they just stop?” On the other side of the argument are those who believe that addiction is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit that can be treated with 12-step programs.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse categorizes addiction as a complex, relapsing disease, and quitting usually takes more than just “good intentions” or a strong will. Drug abuse hijacks the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who truly want to.
Drug and alcohol use may start out as a choice but becoming addicted is not. Once you are addicted physically and mentally to drugs or alcohol, that is when you begin to see the patterns and behaviors that society has deemed as morally unjust. You may choose to try smoking pot or to drink a beer with friends. You may even up the ante and experiment with cocaine or pills. For some, doing it once or twice and never thinking about it again is simple, but others will become addicted to the high and chase it for years. While the initial decision to experiment was a choice, the disease that affects some and not others was not a choice. So, that leaves us with the question that nobody really knows the answer to, what makes these people different?
Why Are Some People Addicted, While Others Aren’t?
Some people believe that those who become addicted to drugs and alcohol were born this way. Experts suggest that there is some genetic predisposition to substance abuse. They believe that the addiction gene is hiding in the person’s genetic makeup. For these people, they may have realized they had the qualities of an addicted person long before the drug or alcohol abuse began. They may also have parents or grandparents that battled addiction and just passed the gene down to them.
For others, their experiences ultimately pointed them into the depths of addiction. It could be trauma or low self-esteem, a problem with their mind and how they view themselves.
The truth is, nobody really knows why some people battle substance use disorders, and some can drink or use without consequence. Some treatment experts think that people don’t just become addicted to drugs, alcohol, or habits. Instead, whether genetically or due to their upbringing, people are using the coping skills they have created to deal with life. In some cases, they believe that if drugs and alcohol never came into the picture, then there would probably be some other adverse coping skills, such as:
- Sexual relationships
- Video games
- Social media
Drug or alcohol is a symptom of the disease of addiction. A range of factors can play into this condition. These things all play into the disease, which causes people to seek out coping skills to make them feel better. In many cases, that is all people who use drugs or alcohol want– to feel better. When clients enroll in our addiction treatment center, we give them healthier coping mechanisms that can help them in the future.
Get Help with Addiction at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
Addiction is different for everyone who struggles with it. It is a chronic relapsing disorder that needs to be taken care of daily in order to stay well. It isn’t a moral failing, and it is definitely not something people choose to live with. No one wakes up and says, “I want to become a heroin addict. That sounds like a lot of fun.” However, this is thousands of people’s reality. They are addicted, and they cannot stop without the proper treatment, which is the tricky part. Since everyone has different experiences and genetics that could play into their addiction, there is no one way to treat all of these people.
At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, we do not apply cookie-cutter treatment techniques. Each patient gets their own treatment plan based on their strengths and needs. We use a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on each person as a whole. We look to treat the mind, body, and spirit, along with family issues, social relationships, educational issues, and mental health issues. Many of our clients have some healthy coping skills. They may have even tried to use these healthy coping skills to no avail. Our clinical staff will teach you how to properly use the coping skills and tools and find what works best for you.
At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, we are committed to the health and well-being of our clients. We offer a variety of addiction treatment programs, including:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Cocaine addiction treatment
- Adderall addiction treatment
- Opioid addiction treatment
To learn more about our services or to determine your causes of substance abuse, please call Georgia Addiction Treatment Center today at 833.641.0661.