Drug and alcohol abuse has been the center of many studies and countless debates over the past years. Some believe that drug addicts are the scum of the earth and utterly helpless, while some think otherwise. Many people believe that addiction is a predisposition and there really is no choice for the addict. However, others agree that childhood and surroundings play a more critical role in addictive behaviors. So, is addiction a choice? Let’s look at some of the facts.
Is Addiction a Choice? Understanding the Science of Choice
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the quality of choice depends on the mental state of the individual. If a person is compromised mentally their brain chemistry is altered, their choices also become compromised.
Other factors can influence a person’s choices such as:
- Environment: Many argue that a proper and safe environment is a crucial component for a child. Children who grow up with addicted or abusive parents have a hard time making wise choices. Our environment truly does shape us in essential ways. A negative environment is just another example of why some people make compromised choices.
- Genes: Genetics is crucial DNA that makes up the entire structure of all living things. As stated above genes and predisposition play a considerable role in our actions throughout life and give us a sense of who we are. Every person has an intricate DNA structure that makes them unique and different. If you come from a family with a history of addiction or mental illness, your chances of developing the same problems are much higher than someone that didn’t.
- Chronic or severe pain: When you are experiencing consistent and agonizing pain, all you want is instant relief. Many opiate abusers became addicted to painkillers because of an event that left them in constant pain. When you begin using opiates, your body develops a dependency over time, and this results in abuse of the drug to get the proper relief. This cycle of drug addiction is completely different than the other factors mentioned, even though chronic pain can cause a person to make unwise choices. These individuals aren’t asking is addiction a choice; they are merely doing what is needed to help them cope.
What’s the Answer? Talk to the Experts at BRS
It is undoubtedly clear that there is no real answer to the question of choice when it comes to addiction. Drug addicts do not necessarily want to struggle with addiction. The need to feel normal and healthy also influences an addict’s choices and can lead to self-hate and other detrimental personality traits. This can result in an even harder nose-dive into addiction and self-medicating habits. It becomes the only real answer to dealing with stress and everyday life.
Is addiction a choice? It is important to understand that if you are struggling with addiction or behavioral issues, there is help for you. Yes, it will take will power, courage, and strength to get through it, but it is entirely possible. If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about the positive steps to take in ridding yourself of the misery and discomfort from drug or alcohol addiction, then contact us now. At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we can give you a solid understanding of ways to permanently change your outlook on life without the need to compromise or alter your perception of it. Call now to learn more about our program and how it can help you.
drugabuse.gov – Addiction and Free Choice
psychiatrictimes.com – Addiction is a Choice
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Addiction and Choice