Drug addiction: a choice or disease


Feature photo by Allie Pigg

Jordyn Thompson

More than 100 people die every day from drug overdoses, according to Addiction Center, which is a rate that has tripled in the last 20 years, this is clearly seen through the opioid epidemic with  more than 72,000 deaths in 2017 of drug overdoses.
Although many Americans have heard about the opioid problem in the United States, there isn’t much awareness of drug addiction that isn’t caused from prescriptions.
No matter what has caused  people to become addicted to drugs and other substances, there needs to be more awareness of help they can get by contacting drug and substance abuse hotlines, attending rehab facilities or joining group therapy with other addicts.
In Psychiatric Times, Jeffrey Schaler, Ph.D, states that addiction isn’t a behavior but, instead, a choice which is intended by the individual person when they choose to put those drugs into their body. The article furthers its stance that the addict carefully plans and monitors ahead how much they consume each day. Clearly, these addicts have thought out the process of their day.
The Center On Addiction, however, argues that addiction is defined as a disease. Like heart disease or diabetes, addiction can be caused by behavioral, environmental and biological factors. For example when a child grows up in a home where their parents both use drugs , the child  is put in an environment where that child is automatically more able to access drugs.
A person might choose to do drugs in order to cope with mental disorders or to deal with tough situations, but their mental state does not force them to pick up an illegal substance. However diseases may be developed once drugs have continuously entered the body.
Whatever the cause may be, the main fact is drug addiction is still a choice made by each and every user.
People don’t understand how an addiction can affect a person and his/her family.  The National Center of Biotechnology states that families who experience family addicts have negative feelings and actions towards the member called negativism.
Drug addiction is an epidemic in America that has been in our history forever according to the Huffington Post. The residues of alcohol and other chemical substances were found on fossils and prehistoric drawing of how drugs were used.  When addiction is treated as disease,people are less likely to seek help.The American Addiction Center shows that 8.2 million Americans that are diagnosed with substance abuse disorder ,only 48 percent got help. The Biology of Addiction states that when addiction is treated like a disease and not as a lifestyle choice, it robs the users of the chance to take responsibility for their action and to fix what went wrong. More consciousness of drug addiction needs to be improved so drug use will decrease in America beside the debate of the cause of drug intake. 
What do you believe drug use is most caused by? Comment down below!