Those who feel that addiction is a “disease” are following The Disease Model of Addiction. This model has been developed by groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous to lead individuals to believe that all addiction is completely biological addiction. Once an addiction is formed, there is nothing the addict will be able to do to stop it. This model includes many myths, assumptions about addiction, and ideas that may be harming addicts instead of helping them.
Addiction is purely biological.
Instead of taking into consideration the environmental and social factors that are included in addiction formation, the disease model believes that the biological factors of addiction are primary. It is important to realize that life experiences can heavily result in a person’s chances of forming an addiction when they grow up. Understand that addiction is a way that people cope with the stresses they face in their lives.
Addiction makes people lose control over their behavior.
An addicted individual will not be able to make sound decisions when under the influence of their substances, according to this model. The person cannot make a choice as to how involved they become involved with their addiction. Addicts need to understand that they can change the direction of their life at any point in time.
Addiction is forever.
This model believes that addiction is the same as any life-long disease; there is no getting rid of it. This hurts the addict because it makes them believe that there is no hope for their recovery; addicts need to know that they have the power to come out of their addiction if they have the right resources. Adopt the mentality that you can beat addiction instead.
Addiction completely takes over a person’s life.
There is nothing that individuals can do once they have formed an addiction. Addiction controls a person’s physical and mental health, personal life, and work obligations. This thought deprives the addict of any hope that they may have of gaining control over their lives again.
Addiction is hereditary.
Because this model enforced the idea that addiction is inherited and biological, the addict’s children will also have the disease. As a result, the disease model encourages the genetic theory of addiction, and the child will battle addiction no matter what the parents do. This hurts the child since the addict believes that their addiction is inevitable, so they may not even try.
Addicts are in denial that they have a problem.
The disease model allows people to believe that all addicts are in denial of their addiction and that they believe there is nothing wrong with them. This feeds the negative stereotype of addicts and results in their fight against addiction being more difficult. It is important to identify the possible causes of forming an addiction so that you are better equipped to solve it.
Addiction is a “primary” disease.
The disease model makes people ignore the external factors of why people could possibly form addiction in the first place. They believe that addiction is the first problem, not that addiction can stem from a series of other problems. Many people actually develop addictions as a result of other things that have happened in their lives.