Do Addicts Choose Addiction
Is addiction really a disease?
Probably the most controversial issue in the field of addiction treatment over the course of recent years is also among the most fundamental questions on the subject. Is addiction a disease? Is it a purely physiological condition which can only successfully be treated through the use of drug-replacement therapy or other types of pharmaceutical treatment? Many in the field certainly hold this viewpoint.
A similar view is held by many in the 12-step community, who consider that an addict cannot recover until he or she admits to being powerless to overcome the condition. Those who pursue treatment through this approach face a future of, at best, being “recovering addicts” for the rest of their lives, people who have to cope with their condition. Further complicating the issue is the fact that not everyone who drinks alcohol or uses drugs, even heavily, becomes an addict. Some people can try heroin and put it down after the first time, while others get hooked immediately. The mechanisms through which drugs and alcohol produce their effects on the body certainly carry the potential for forming a dependence, such as by supplanting the brain’s normal processes for releasing chemicals associated with pleasure. But why would some people be able to escape the snare of addiction while others succumb to the trap?
Addiction is Actually a Problem That Can be Solved
New evidence points in the direction that addiction is a condition which is not entirely physiological, and that something can be done about the problem of addiction. A team of researchers headed by a neuroscientist from Columbia University has recently demonstrated that the power of choice continues to exert itself even among confirmed addicts. The researchers worked with a group of people who were addicted to either cocaine or methadone, but who were not interested in quitting. The study subjects lives in a hospital for two weeks, where they were offered drugs twice every day. At the second time, however, the addicts were given a choice: They could take the drugs, or they could choose to receive money at the end of the program. Every day they chose money, they would be increasing the amount in their account, thereby adding value to the final payout they would receive. Most of them chose the money. Despite the fact that they were addicts and were not trying to quit, the allure of cash was enough to overpower the compulsion to take another hit. When they were offered a larger amount of drugs, they would opt for the drugs, but if the offered amount of money was also increased, the cash would win.
How Does Narconon Treat Drug Addiction
“The addict has been found not to want to be an addict, but is driven by pain and environmental hopelessness. As soon as an addict can feel healthier and more competent mentally and physically without drugs than he does on drugs, he ceases to require drugs.” These are the words of L. Ron Hubbard, the American writer and humanitarian whose research into addiction and human behavior serve as the foundation for the Narconon drug rehab program. According to this view, an addict is not someone who suffers from a brain disease or who is cursed with an affliction which he or she is powerless to overcome. Instead, it is found that a drug addict is normally a person who has turned to substance abuse as the solution for some type of major problem in life, and who has since become utterly dependent on the drugs to cope with stress and to get by. The physiological component of addiction is a major factor, since drugs and alcohol do disrupt the normal chemical processes of the brain and the rest of the body, and a person who is addicted will have a hard time quitting for this reason. Narconon, furthermore, is unique among drug rehab programs in the respect that the program includes a step that flushes out the accumulated toxic residues of past drug use from the cells of the body, residues which are largely to blame for cravings among recovering addicts.
Perhaps the most important difference between Narconon and other rehab programs, however, is the approach described by Mr. Hubbard. Rather than viewing addiction as an overpowering condition, Narconon helps an addict by boosting his or her ability to confront and handle life, and thereby renders drug and alcohol use unnecessary to the addict. At that point, the person can make the choice of whether or not to continue drinking or using drugs, and they make the right decisions in the overwhelming percentage of cases. Narconon is widely recognized as being among the most effective rehab programs in the world, with a success rate in excess of 70%, a fact which demonstrates that the approach developed by Mr. Hubbard works.