Is substance addiction a disease? I say no!

I would like to throw a wrench into this disease definition machine. I am one of the few you will hear that cringes when addiction is explained as a “disease”. This term or definition is erroneous, simplistic, and undignified in my Aristotelian  formed opinion. On one hand, the definition is needed so that people can receive insurance benefits for treatment, so in that it is pragmatic. However, if we continue to define how people suffer in current evolutionary terms, we will never truly arrive at the fully understood solution. Addiction is not a simple disease, and we cannot approach it with a medical cure or vaccine. The idea that everything has a medical solution, and that being a chemical or genetic cause, is archaic and harmful to the advance of human health initiatives. Not only is this term negating the cause and affect of addictive substance reaction, the term is allowing for more of these substances to enter into profit margins and sales campaigns.

People who are experiencing addiction did not catch a virus, do not have faulted DNA, and do not have abnormally growing cells; they have been poisoned. They were formed and progressed normally through childhood. When they experienced a substance that affected their system more profoundly than in the other 80% of the population, they experienced a euphoria that others may not comprehend. Without the poisonous substance, they would not be in bondage to a feeling that others do not experience.

The definition of ‘diseased’ adds to the stigma of imperfection and in need of medical intervention pervasive in modern society. The medical system is to blame for placing these substances on the market, yet they blame the victims for being diseased. People with substance addictions are in bondage to medicine, chemicals, or whatever else enters their systems, and they were unaware of the risks because pharmaceutical companies hide or disregard the euphoric feeling a large portion of our population experiences. Once this feeling is experienced, the individual cannot find anything in life so pleasing. Some individuals are wired with different endorphin receptors, it is that simple. By calling this phenomenon a disease, we are allowing society to label a reaction to poison as the fault of the individual who ingested it due to a diseased system. This “epidemic” (another disease reference used to describe the death rate from opioid overdose) is not so simplistic as saying someone’s system is not operating correctly. This is a rewiring of their whole system. Addiction is a form of bondage, and the companies who produce and market this poison should not be allowed to blame the consumer for putting heroin, a known and banned substance, in our general population.

Consider this: Heroin and opium were banned because of the damage they do to a population (i.e. China). Pharmaceutical companies are selling more heroin and opium under the pseudonym “opioid pain relievers” without any blame. How do they do this? They blame the consumer for being diseased and keep many in bondage by providing more chemicals to ease the long recovery period, around 2 years on more opioids.

Consider this: Someone who deals heroin on the street can receive years in jail, yet any doctor can prescribe the same doses without a court order. Someone who accepts heroin on the street will be entered into the penal system with a searchable record, yet this same record will make finding employment or housing almost impossible. Most medical professionals have employment and comfortable housing.

This is not a diseased individual but a diseased system: American sells heroin with the properly signed documentation, becomes disgusted when individuals experience total loss of facilities to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, penalizes individuals for trying to avoid the pain of withdrawal, gives more heroin for pain avoidance to individuals with bouts of pain, and then defines anyone who cannot stand face to face with heroin/opiates/opioids/Vicodin/Oxytocin/oxycodone/etc. and win as diseased.

9 thoughts on “Is substance addiction a disease? I say no!

  1. How can you blame a system of physicians for their patients NOT taking the drug as prescribed???? No matter how the addiction evolved, it certainly wasn’t the prescribing physician, strapping the patient down, and injecting them for years, or more. These addicts, including me, doctor shopped, drug seeked, and bought off the street. Believe me when I say that we as addicts know EXACTLY what to say to get what we w ant. You need soooooo much more time Inside an addicts body to fully comprehend what it all entails. Journals or no journals. Just as we addicts need A LOT MORE TIME in your mind to understand whAt your thought process entails. Unfortunately, neither is possible. I take accountable for my actions! And don’t blame one single physician. Those petty distractments are long gone. I have 6 years clean.


    • HI Anonymous! Six years! So wonderful, just incredible.
      I can see your point, and I agree that many people fall into addiction by their own in-your-face disregard for wise choices.


  2. OMG you are so right! I could have not said it better. My son is in recovery right now! It scares me because he seems so flat! It is the after effects of the strong heroin and what it does to the brain! Will he be ok or ever the same! he use to laugh a lot and smile! I rarely see this now! Doctors should be jailed for the epidemic!


    • I agree that some doctors are purposely profiting, but most are not. Most are just ignorant and trying their best to balance the business of medical care against the onslaught of unsatisfied customers. Care today means no pain, and unpopular doctors get traded to a lower paying team. People don’t care as much about the operation as they do about the pain afterwards. However, I place the blame on the big money people who are pulling these doctor-puppets’ strings: pharmaceutical companies and the doctors who are so engrossed in making medicine a profitable business that they won’t stand against Satan (aka Purdue, Eli Lily, etc.). Pig P.has the figures and their CEOs know what they are doing, have done, and will do tomorrow to all our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and neighbors. How many people would you let die if you got to deposit millions personally each year? Probably none, right? But, how would you feel depositing millions in personal profit if you could tell yourself that you helped millions of people feel less or no pain even though this meant that mentally diseased people died? People feel so much better looking at all the people who didn’t have to experience pain and thinking that those who died just did it to themselves or were born diseased and bound to die of some sort of substance anyway. The whole thing is a rationalization built on money.
      How is your son? Are they putting more drugs in him? Methadone, suboxone, etc? Is that why he is so flat? May God bless you all! Thank God he is still alive! Hugs, Jane


  3. I really liked this blog. It is a “diseased” system! You gave me a whole different take on addiction and somethings to think about. Thank you


  4. While I agree it is not a disease, I disagree that it is big pharma that propigated it. My daugher got hooked by oxycontin. Then went to heroin. She didn’t orally take the oxy. She crushed and snorted it. That’s a choice. A very bad choice. She knew exactly what she was doing. She may not have known how addictive it was, but she KNEW by virtue of snorting, that she was doing something illegal and wrong 15 years later I have custody of 2 of her 3 girls. The 3rd was born while she was on methadone. This has been 15 years of hell for our family, which only by the Grace of God have we gotten through..


    • God is so good, isn’t He?
      What I didn’t realize, that you now know too, is that kids use oxys at parties. They think of it like adults do going out for a tailgate with beer: a bit brash but fun. How the heck do they get so many? That is something that needs addressing with teens and young adults. People just don’t realize that oxy this or that is really heroin and not just like a beer with friends. Heroin has a bad name, but Big Pharm managed to remarket it, remove the stigma, and put the stigma back on our kids.
      You may think this is an odd comment, but I am envious that you have grandkids. I know taking care of them all must be beyond difficult, but I wish I had some. No chance now….. Hugs!


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