Is drug addiction a disease?

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gimp
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Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by gimp » 17 Jun 2019, 19:00

"Comparing substance addiction to heart disease may help illustrate why it is defined as a disease by so many:1

Both addiction and heart disease disturb the regular functioning of an organ in the body – the heart for heart disease and the brain for addiction.
They both can lead to a decreased quality of life and increased risk of premature death.
Addiction and many types of heart disease are largely preventable by engaging in a healthy lifestyle and avoiding poor choices.
They are both treatable to prevent further damage."
https://americanaddictioncenters.org/re ... -a-disease

A popular narrative to explain the increasing homelessness in the area I live (Los Angeles) is mental illness and substance abuse illness. Many of the news stations call it a disease.

The problem I have with this is the element of choice involved. We do not choose diseases so directly, sure maybe i can eat burgers all day and get heart disease. But one heroin injection and now i have a disease because i am addicted? You made a poor choice that all public school systems clearly tell you will destroy your life, you deserve to be homeless.

I think calling addiction a disease cheapens other diseases that people did not choose. I think calling drug addiction a disease is a way to lobby sympathy and money to help the homeless who are using drugs and also committing far more crimes to obtain more drugs.

What do you think?
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by roope » 17 Jun 2019, 20:25

I think it's just an one-up from alcoholism. You don't plan to get addicted, but the brain decides otherwise. It's kinda similar to some other mental illnesses, there's an unfair stigma. "Just get up and go out!" for depression, "just don't drink!" for alcoholism, "just don't take it!" for drugs. It's all easy to say for someone who has never experienced any of these problems.

It's all on a sliding scale with these substances - the biggest thing that separates drugs from hamburgers, alcohol or tobacco is their legal status. Of course most of the time the illegality of drugs is for a good reason - the easiness of getting addicted is one - but I don't want to judge people too harshly for one mistake, because it's just in the nature of some people to be impulsive and try things they shouldn't.
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by Lousku » 17 Jun 2019, 20:28

In my view, every decision is a result of factors you had no control over. But you still made the decision as much as anyone has ever decided anything.

Labeling diseases is just a way to classify human problems in order to ease the process of solving them.

So yes, we can say addiction is a disease. The purpose is not to shift "blame" at all: it's a self-induced disease. By labeling it a disease you enter the problem into the world of medicine where something can be done about it.
then again i don't know anything
maybe easier not to think abouut alöl things thought than not things thought ... or something..=?

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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by analcactus » 18 Jun 2019, 12:04

Lousku wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 20:28
In my view, every decision is a result of factors you had no control over.
Very doubtable thesis, orka explain

IMO, using drugs is alright, but ABusing drugs (which itself leads to the addiction) is a disease.
Unfortunately, all the media yells this, but irl it doesn't work like "i used it once and now i'm an addict". Even considered "hard" drugs take a dozen of uses to start physical addiction, although mental addiction is also a case, but it's a far weaker effect. Just in case, I myself had such experience in the past with two drugs which are rather considered "easy".

On tropic, on the element of choice involved, it pretty explained by determining "use" and "abuse", as when addiction turns in, your choice to continue against choice to quit is harder and harder and after some point there's no such thing as "choice". Also please note, that when you start using drugs, you choose not addiction nor bad effects (hungovers and such), but the effect of drug itself rather. That works with literally everything. When you eat a burger, you don't automatically choose obessity, but you choose the taste you like and probably comfort of getting one cooked for you. But when you abuse burgers, you get obessity which is a disease.
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by kuchitsu » 19 Jun 2019, 10:03

gimp wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 19:00
I think calling drug addiction a disease is a way to lobby sympathy and money to help the homeless who are using drugs and also committing far more crimes to obtain more drugs.
Sounds good to me? Let's help the homeless fix their lives so that they don't have to commit crimes anymore?

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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by farnsworth » 19 Jun 2019, 17:51

Addiction is the closest thing you can call a disease, but it's not.

Addiction is many things beside drugs.

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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by gimp » 20 Jun 2019, 17:54

kuchitsu wrote:
19 Jun 2019, 10:03
gimp wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 19:00
I think calling drug addiction a disease is a way to lobby sympathy and money to help the homeless who are using drugs and also committing far more crimes to obtain more drugs.
Sounds good to me? Let's help the homeless fix their lives so that they don't have to commit crimes anymore?
No that doesnt sound good. You cannot fix other people, people can only fix themselves.

Let the homeless addict suffer and hopefully come to the realization of the error of his ways. Eventually we hope they would decide to contribute to society rather than be a leech. But just like the parent who has to emotionally let go of a child who becomes a drug addict that steals and lies to them, the government should do the same. If the homesless drug addict does not realize the error of his ways, then let darwinsim do its thing that nature has done for millenia.

Welfare and even putting porta potties on skid row in Los Angeles enables the drug addict to keep using. once a drug like crack, heroin, or meth takes hold it becomes the first priority for a drug addict above food or water. imagine that kind of addiction and the lengths a human mind can go to to reach their goal. They will use all available resources to get it. Anything we give them, including food stamps, gives them more ability to reach their priority.

It is anecdotal evidence, but my best friend became addicted to heroin and pulled all kinds of stuff on me and his own family. Surely you have heard of those that have done the same? Most people have personal experiences with drug addicts.

The only thing that eventually changes the drug addict is suffering or an OD. You can speed up their suffering by doing nothing for them, by taking away the enabling you will give them the best gift you possibly can - Independence.
Dependence would just be more of the same.
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by Ruben » 20 Jun 2019, 19:38

I think your line of thinking is very dangerous, gimp, and it only servers to make the situation worse. These are people who are struggling with something far worse than what most of us can imagine, and stigmatising them just pushes them further away and makes it way worse. These are people who for whatever reason completely fucked up their lives, and for most of them to have any chance at recovery they need help, not some "just pull yourself up by the bootstraps, scum!" mentality from those who could actually provide said help.

I think you can tell a lot about any given society by how they treat those who stand lowest, and frankly the USA, and most other countries, is trash in this regard.
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by Lousku » 21 Jun 2019, 09:16

analcactus wrote:
18 Jun 2019, 12:04
Lousku wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 20:28
In my view, every decision is a result of factors you had no control over.
Very doubtable thesis, orka explain
why
then again i don't know anything
maybe easier not to think abouut alöl things thought than not things thought ... or something..=?

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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by kuchitsu » 21 Jun 2019, 18:41

This sorta reminds me of that time when gimp said that he would rather kill a close family member than five strangers and was surprised by the negative reactions. It's like he wants everyone to be in total control of their emotions and approach life with nothing but logic. I can sympathize with that as it's really frustrating to see people making irrational decisions all the time, but unfortunately that's just who we are and it seems unrealistic to expect people to always fix their problems on their own. Everyone needs help from time to time. For some it's just an occasional warm hug, while for others it's counseling, welfare, things like that.

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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by analcactus » 21 Jun 2019, 19:32

gimp wrote:
20 Jun 2019, 17:54
kuchitsu wrote:
19 Jun 2019, 10:03
gimp wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 19:00
I think calling drug addiction a disease is a way to lobby sympathy and money to help the homeless who are using drugs and also committing far more crimes to obtain more drugs.
Sounds good to me? Let's help the homeless fix their lives so that they don't have to commit crimes anymore?
No that doesnt sound good. You cannot fix other people, people can only fix themselves.

Let the homeless addict suffer and hopefully come to the realization of the error of his ways. Eventually we hope they would decide to contribute to society rather than be a leech. But just like the parent who has to emotionally let go of a child who becomes a drug addict that steals and lies to them, the government should do the same. If the homesless drug addict does not realize the error of his ways, then let darwinsim do its thing that nature has done for millenia.

Welfare and even putting porta potties on skid row in Los Angeles enables the drug addict to keep using. once a drug like crack, heroin, or meth takes hold it becomes the first priority for a drug addict above food or water. imagine that kind of addiction and the lengths a human mind can go to to reach their goal. They will use all available resources to get it. Anything we give them, including food stamps, gives them more ability to reach their priority.
I agree.
I would axxually give the options: legal working houses with WITTINGLY worse conditions than the labor exchange options, or discontinuation of the social help. For me being a man who made everything i own without any gov help, it sounds stupid that those money that I pay as taxes and other payments go to the stupid weak people rather than to small business, self-employed and some real EFFECTIVE altruism ways.
This sorta reminds me of that time when gimp said that he would rather kill a close family member than five strangers and was surprised by the negative reactions
Would you rather kill five strangers? You are a maniac imo, period.
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by pawq » 21 Jun 2019, 23:10

analcactus wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 19:32
Would you rather kill five strangers? You are a maniac imo, period.
Or, perhaps, an empathetic human.

Orka look up how many people die every day, but are you more upset about them than you would be about your parent/wife/child dying? Hardly anyone would be, and it's perfectly natural. We would be not much more than machines without empathy, attachment, and love.

It is also worth remembering that not everybody gets the same starting position. For those lucky enough to be able to forge their own path, it seems to be a given, but others are not as fortunate. Childhood, for one, has an extremely strong effect on the mind. If somebody has a shit childhood, chances are they will not have the mental ability to achieve as much as you have. We have matured enough as a civilisation to care for the weak, and if you think the weak should just be left to die (and forcing them to "sort themselves out" can be pretty much equivalent), then you are not just inconsiderate, but selfish.

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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by ArZeNiK » 22 Jun 2019, 09:27

imo
stupidity is not a disease
overdoses are just natural selection for those who cannot keep their limits
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by analcactus » 22 Jun 2019, 11:59

pawq wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 23:10
analcactus wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 19:32
Would you rather kill five strangers? You are a maniac imo, period.
Or, perhaps, an empathetic human.

Orka look up how many people die every day, but are you more upset about them than you would be about your parent/wife/child dying? Hardly anyone would be, and it's perfectly natural. We would be not much more than machines without empathy, attachment, and love.
Probably we're talking about different moral problems. Are you willing to have on your hands five cut lives instead of just one, which though you know better? Even simplifed, not taking into the account the aftermath of that decision, including jail.
IMO, if one decides that everyone besides himself and his close circle are grey mass, it is so damn wrong. Every person has a complex life and stays in the middle of their own social web. If on real case you just think like "killing my fellow boy is more sad for me than killing five strangers", this is what selfish stands for, man.
Emotions and empathetic approach both have their range of applicability, which does not certainly include such dilemmas.
It is also worth remembering that not everybody gets the same starting position. For those lucky enough to be able to forge their own path, it seems to be a given, but others are not as fortunate.
I agree that starting position does range, but in terms of situation described, it's more of fluctuation. When you are born not in the 3rd world country nor Africa, then your starting position is WAY above the median overworldly. You already have so much privileges that it is always up to you what you want achieve and what you can achieve. What I want to say, is that if you have a possibility to get a paid work, that is privilege that many many mans in the world do not have. And yet they try.
And when a fucking piece of shit who lives on a gov donations for jobless (orka google how that's called in english, hope that's clear term), sneaking into the law holes for getting more for doing nothing, and abusing drugs, and of course getting 3+ kids whom they can't support, -- and that all just because he or she knows that gov will cover this up -- I am absolutely sure that such persons must be deprived from any social help and denied off parental rights.

Such people grant nothing to the goverment except worst-gened, likely-to-be-the-same-piece-of-shit population. They suck the money which could multiply in hands of the gifted people or which could help to the times amount of people, who got really bad "starting point" in e.g. Africa.
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by kuchitsu » 22 Jun 2019, 22:44

"Starting position" is not just about the geographical location though. You can get born with a brain that is more prone to depression than average. You can grow in a shitty family where basic values aren't taught properly. You can go to a bad school with uncaring teachers. You can experience a traumatic event, maybe even without realizing that it was traumatic. Etc, etc, etc. There are tons of different factors that make people who they are, many of them completely beyond their control, especially in childhood as pawq said. This stuff is so complex that IMO it doesn't really make sense to say that some people are having it easier than others and therefore should just toughen up. Or at least it definitely isn't as simple as being born in Africa vs USA.

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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by Grace » 23 Jun 2019, 13:52

disease /dɪˈziːz/- noun
a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.

Based purely on definition, addiction is a disease. Without addiction, your standard functioning is to not experience negative symptoms due to the lack of presence of certain chemicals (coffee, tobacco, alcohols, drugs, etc). When you are addicted to those chemicals, you do experience negative symptoms when those chemicals are not present (a collection of symptoms we can simply refer to as dependence and consequently withdrawal symptoms). People who do not have the disease will not experience withdrawal symptoms. An example of a very parallel disease that is not addiction but based on the presence or lack thereof of certain chemicals is phenylketonuria (commonly known as PKU). With people who do not suffer from it, they do not experience negative symptoms from their internal levels of the amino acid phenylalanine. People who do suffer from PKU cannot metabolise the amino acid correctly, end up with heightened levels of it and then experience severe negative symptoms as a result. In the case of the addictions that we tend to discuss, we perceive that we are adding these chemicals to the body from externally rather than the PKU example where the body creates the amino acid, but this is not necessarily the case. Sometimes, the drug merely elicits a chemical reaction which alters a physiological process and the resultant addiction is based on chemicals further down the line.

Coming back to the above definition, it's a very clear alignment with "a disorder of function" in that your basic function is altered due to the presence of addiction.

That's from a purely physiological and linguistic perspective. If you are going to pretend that addiction doesn't exist and that it's entirely the person's choice, I'm going to take the choice to pretend that you don't exist. :) You're welcome to debate your anecdotes & beliefs as you please, but don't forget that they are merely anecdotes & beliefs.
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Re: Is drug addiction a disease?

Post by Zweq » 25 Jun 2019, 08:00

I'm addicted to gofe

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