Drug Addiction

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Is drug addiction a choice or a disease? This polemical topic has been in the media for many years and has provoked many debates to ascertain the whole thing. Many researchers have concluded being a drug addict is a disease that is only cured by “feeding the habit”. Conversely, there are researchers who assert that drug addiction is just a choice. Having thoroughly taken into consideration both sides of the arguments and doing my own research, my stand remains that being a drug addict is undisputedly a matter of choice and not a disease.

According to the Nation Institute of Drug Abuse, excessive substance use which leads to drug abuse is considered a chronic disease. This definition places addiction in the same classification as heart
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It is apparent that addiction is not involuntary or compulsive. Most people who drink alcohol or take substances do so after making a conscious decision. If they have sufficient motivation to quite the addiction, they will make a corresponding change in their behaviour. A study of cocaine users showed that 70 percent of the participating addicts stopped the habit when they were offered modest rewards. In addition, alcoholics have shown the ability to recover individually, without seeking help through rehabilitation or counselling. Therefore, it is false to state that addiction is a disease, since it is a result of the choices and lifestyle an individual chooses to embrace.

Life style choices determine whether one becomes an addict or not. When one is born into this world he or she has the will to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to indulge in potentially self-destructive activities. The decision to use hard drugs or alcohol which can result in addiction is due to personal preference. It is hard for a person who does not enjoy alcohol consumption to become addicted. Nonetheless, this would not be the case if it was a true disease. A person would still get cancer irrespective of their choices since they have no control over their genetic disposition. That is why addiction does not accurately fall into the categorization of a disease, since it commonly occurs because of an individual’s choices.

If individuals in the

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