I am not asking for myself.....I have a friend who is writing a paper for a class and I asked her if she would be interested in hearing what all of you have to say.
Personally, I have gone back and forth on this one. I think its just semantics and maybe it really doesn't even matter. My girl is where she is for whatever reasons and I just want her to be healthy and happy and there is nothing I can do about making that happen. I do think there is an initial element of choice involved, but I do think that most "addicts" quickly become very sick. There are lots of young people who use drugs and alcohol "recreationally" and they don't become like our kids here that we write about. I do believe that drug and alcohol use is most definitely (in my opinion) a symptom of something else.
If it is a disease is it a mental health illness? Is it a physical illness? A spiritual illness? A brain condition?
My girl doesn't believe its a disease. She believes that people can be genetically pre-disposed to becoming addicted once they begin to drink or use. She has said, "I didn't start off sick. I was depressed, but not delusional. I chose to self medicate my depression and it quickly got out of control (thus the genetic pre-disposition to addiction) and yes, NOW I am a sick human being."
I have another friend who is very invested in the idea of addiction being a disease. I think as a mom, its one thing to think that of our children as sick individuals, its another to think that they hold some responsibility for their sickness.
So what do you all think?