Is it a disease or a choice? I’ve entered into this debate many times.
Drug addiction is so shrouded in shame and stigma that talking about it in any random group of people often invites conflict. Many, many people still believe that drug addiction is a sign of moral failure, a conscious choice to self-destruct.
If we insist that our loved ones are choosing to be addicts, that they want to stick a needle in their arm and live in a gutter, then we feel justified in our anger and our bitterness. If we keep feeding those feelings, they will consume us.
I choose to believe that my daughter is wired differently and is prone to addictive disease. That’s no surprise, since four generations in my family have all had addictive disease in varying degrees. For whatever reason we still are unsure of, whatever life stresses beckoned her into that dark place, she became a victim of addiction.
But I’ll leave the final word to the experts, one of whom, Dr.Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, I often quote:
“I’ve studied alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and more recently obesity. There’s a pattern in compulsion. I’ve never come across a single person that was addicted that wanted to be addicted. Something has happened in their brains that has led to that process.”
Marilea Rabasa is a blogger and author of A Mother’s Story: Angie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore by Maggie C. Romero (pseudonym) published by Mercury HeartLlnk and available on Amazon. She can also be found on www.recoveryofthespirit.com