New research has been developed that furthers the idea of addiction being a brain disease. Many people treat addiction like it’s a choice. They seem to disregard that drug use changes brain chemistry. Addiction is a disease, a side effect of drug use.
It was considered a personality flaw to use. It was shameful and weak. Addiction is more than just substance abuse says the American Society of Addiction Medicine. A new definition came to light in 2011.
Four years of work and research lead to that definition. Researches decided addiction is caused by neurology and not a fatal flaw in character. What a surprise.
Recently experts put out a paper that gave even more information. There was a correlation between brain disease and substance use. They affect the brain in similar ways.
The idea of addiction being a disease of the brain is highly contentious. People can’t seem to be convinced that it does not mean a person has no self-respect. Continued drug use doesn’t end up being voluntary, and it isn’t a choice to be sick.
Many studies and research have been done that shoot down this bias. Over and over again it has been disproven that addiction is the user’s fault. But public opinion hasn’t changed. Researchers admit that it might be that they haven’t put it into layman’s terms.
If it isn’t represented easily for the public to understand they might not focus on it. Public opinion needs a lot of work done to change.
It is important to keep in mind scientific fact when facing addiction. Models have shown that addiction affects the brain like a disease.
Still Held Accountable For Their Actions
Obviously, that doesn’t change the fact that the addict still used to begin with. Usually, that is their choice. It is a hard mixture of empathy and understanding. There is a level of responsibility yes. But once it gets to a certain point there isn’t someone to blame anymore.
This scientific proof shouldn’t be used as a crutch. It’s not an excuse that addicts can use to shrug off their choices and blame. Instead, it should be used to help understand.
Those who want to be clean and struggle so hard with relapsing can now understand why. It’s not an addicts fault if recovery is difficult. Fighting against your own brain can be hard.