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View Poll Results: Is addiction a disease?
Yes 10 35.71%
No 12 42.86%
Undecided 6 21.43%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #1
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Is Addiction a Disease?

People argue for and against the belief that addiction is a disease. Seems like a somewhat pointless topic for an argument as it changes nothing as far as how we treat addicts. I would still like to hear your two cents on this topic.



People agreeing with addiction being a disease say it is something that the addict deals with for their entire life. Even after kicking the habit they can be constantly reminded of their previous life from their surroundings.



I do not know any better way of stating the other side's view, so I'm just going to copy from Wikipedia:



"Addiction is not a disease but rather a habitual response and a source of gratification and security that can be understood only in the context of social relationships and experiences." (Wikipedia: "Life-Process Model of Addiction")



"Disease" to me feels more physical than mental, so it is hard for me to grasp this ideal of addiction being a disease, but I do understand where they're getting at.



Peace,

Abo4ma
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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:16 PM   #2
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it gets complex as soon as you try to define exactly what an addiction is. there isnt really an accepted definition that works and that makes it hard to discuss without arguing cross purposes.



another problem is exactly what addiction you are referring to. alcohol, gambling, heroin, sex, internet, one can become addicted to any of these but the causes, treatment and prognosis of all these is different. and within any one of them, individuals are different too.



with my patients, i do not talk about it in terms of it being a disease, i think that sets up the process of recovery badly, it removes the individual from the process too much, reinforces the focus on the addictive behaviour without addressing other things.



i conceptualise addiction as a symptom masquerading as a diagnosis. the pressing issue is the reasons driving the addiction, if you deal with these you can deal with the addiction much more easily. if you ignore them and focus on the behaviour, you miss the point. identifying these underlying problems and addressing them directly is not quick.



initially, you may have to deal with withdrawal, anxiety, etc as an acute medical problem, but once this is over, focussing on the substance or behaviour isnt always the best approach.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #3
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Addiction CAN be a disease, but not all addictions are a disease.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
"Disease" to me feels more physical than mental


so you don't consider schizophrenia a disease?
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Old May 24th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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"Disease" to me feels more physical than mental
so you don't consider schizophrenia a disease?
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Old May 24th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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I thought disease was something the body caught from an outside source or was transferred at birth due to the mother being the carrier of the disease? Granted if mom was addicted to a drug her blood transferred that addiction to the child.



While some people are more susceptible to addiction than others I always thought this was based on a roll of the dice at birth. For example I went to a drug seminar and the instructor said he had a friend that had used heroin for thirty years but his friend had a high tolerance and could go without the drug unlike other normal people. I've seen people with similar tolerance to consumption of alcohol or smoking cigarettes too, they seem to be able to abuse the otherwise addictive drugs without becoming addicted.



I'm aware that addictions cause disease but wasn't aware that you could acquire an addiction without first introducing the drug or sex or whatever. In the case of sex addictions I'd rather doubt that it was passed to the person from the mother but rather resulted from other persons impacting the persons value viewpoint of sex at some point in the maturing process.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tristanrobin
so you don't consider schizophrenia a disease?
I wouldn't... I would consider it a mental illness.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #8
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And I suppose I would be wrong...



dis⋅ease



 /dɪˈziz/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [di-zeez] Show IPA noun, verb, -eased, -eas⋅ing. –noun

1. a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.



2. any abnormal condition in a plant that interferes with its vital physiological processes, caused by pathogenic microorganisms, parasites, unfavorable environmental, genetic, or nutritional factors, etc.



3. any harmful, depraved, or morbid condition, as of the mind or society: His fascination with executions is a disease.



4. decomposition of a material under special circumstances: tin disease.

–verb (used with object) 5. to affect with disease; make ill.



Origin:

1300–50; ME disese < AF dese(a)se, disaise; see dis- 1 , ease



Related forms:

dis⋅eas⋅ed⋅ly, adverb

dis⋅eas⋅ed⋅ness, noun



Synonyms:

1. morbidity, complaint, derangement, distemper, indisposition, infirmity, disorder, malady.





Antonyms:

1. health. 5. cure.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 10:53 PM   #9
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I think it was emphasized as a disease by the psychologists so that they could counsel drug addicts and alcoholics and make it easier for them to get SSI in the 1980's. But, it's no longer considered a disease by the Social Security Disability group. Beyond that, I don't know how many consider addiction a disease.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 06:43 AM   #10
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The question fails to specify physical or mental addiction. I think Physical addiction is a disease. I don't believe mental addiction is a disease, just as I don't believe eating disorders are diseases.
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