The disease model of addiction is clear in its definition by being indicated as a disease and yet the stigma behind drug addiction remains. Because some people primitively perceive addiction as a moral failure, the true nature of the disease has remained a controversial topic that is still argued in the media despite its official classification as an illness.
Getting Society to Understand Disease Model of Addiction
“It's the context and the relationship that humans have with chemicals that's really an issue here,” began Dr. Drew Pinsky. “It's not a good thing or a bad thing. It's not a weakness or strength. It's just a biological relationship that humans have in certain context.” Dr. Drew is stating that the focus is not as much on the substance itself but rather on the relationship that the addict develops with it and the allergy initially set off. The disease model of addiction is depicted in place of a moral dilemma because the addict does not possess the ability of self-restraint to prevent themselves from acting out on using their substance of choice. They aren’t necessarily continuously abusing these substances by choice knowing that’s wrong for the sake of it but more so due to the fact that they cannot control their use in any way, shape, or form. “The disease fundamentally is a motivational disturbance. It’s a broken motivational priority,” Dr. Drew simplified. The stigma needs to be broken on addiction because it keeps these sick and suffering addicts from reaching out to seek the crucial treatment they need to recover. Dr. Drew says that society has a greatly distorted perception of addiction and that the misunderstanding may only put substance disorders on the rise. Putting an end to the stigma behind addiction and helping addicts get the treatment they need will begin with proper understanding of the disease model of addiction itself. Society has to come together and be willing to be open-minded instead of holding this misconception of a moral failure stance against the addict.
14 Days On The Wagon
CBS News began a two-week series entitled “14 Days On The Wagon” on Monday, October 6 where individuals throughout the nation were challenged to abstain from alcohol and other superfluous drugs to get an empathetic glimpse of what it would feel like to recover from addiction and just how much the disease has affected the country as a whole. While raising awareness about addiction, the series aimed to get as many willing people from the public involved who would talk about what their two weeks off all mind-altering substances was like on a day to day basis and how they felt during the process. With 23 years of sobriety and having found Recovery 2.0, Tommy Rosen went on to say, “There’s so much going on in the world. You can have fun without drugs and alcohol.” That’s the kind of message that CBS News hoped to generate among the participants who embarked on the challenge.
With over 90,000 people suffering from the disease of addiction each year, the stigma needs to be broken. No individual should feel ashamed of the disease and society needs to learn to let go of the idea of punishment as a solution to drug use. The inability to stop abusing a drug isn’t a weakness but more of an actual ailment that can only be treated through proper regular maintenance.
If you are in the pit of the disease of your addiction and desperately wanting to come out of it but don’t know how, contact The Watershed today because there is hope and recovery is possible.