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Is Addiction Really A Disease?

Posts: 1764
Joined: June 27, 2016

Posted: April 10, 2017, 2:23 PM

Mad at P,
I wanted to reply bc a friend of mine has said the same exact words regarding trust and his spouse. in this situation there is a hording addiction - and some other past stuff friend is having a hard time putting in the past. but wife does not help reassure him or their relationship. refuses to work, lies, agrees to improvements, counciling, does not follow thru.

After many years of begging and trying and supporting, they are headed for divorce. It all became too stressful and unhealthy. he could not suffer anymore. It does mirror the addictive personality. yes, selfish on her part. look up narcissistic personality disorder.

It is true that Rehab and the people in recovery become a focus point bc they understand. But a healthy response would be to divide her time between both home and recovery.

thanks for sharing. know that you are not alone, not crazy, not selfish.

Posts: 15
Joined: July 11, 2017

Posted: July 13, 2017, 6:07 AM
Joe C "what a taurus they are". Lol! :-D

Posts: 15
Joined: July 11, 2017

Posted: July 13, 2017, 6:15 AM
NytoFlorida. It's possible that addiction is an extremely selfish condition/disease/sickness/choice, and as such, the addict shares a lot of similar traits with NPD. Or it could be that people with NPD or psychopathy are prone to addiction. I am not a doctor, but the topic is interesting. I also have read a lot about how childhood trauma and adult addiction seem to be linked, although I am not sure what the link is -- trauma might lead to an adult developing PTSD and then choosing to either suicide or use drugs or engage in other self-nullifying, self-destructive behaviours. If you hate yourself and you hate the world, you might not care what you do and whom you affect. However, whatever the reason, at the end of the day, the drug use is going to make life worse for everyone, not better, and the addict knows it. I wish I had all the answers.

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Joined: July 11, 2017

Posted: July 13, 2017, 6:38 AM
I just thought I would add this, and I'm not sure I agree with this person's assessment, but I do know a psychiatrist who works in a hospital. She's a friend of a friend, and she's said that she gets super annoyed when the people from emergency send a drug addict up to the psych ward. She says, this is not a mental health issue, this is an addict, this person is on drugs and I can't treat their mental health problems until they get off the drugs. So the patient with the addiction gets sent away. I have an (ex) husband (not divorced yet, still early days, his whereabouts are unknown) with a mental health issue who became an addict. I am pretty sure his mental health issue preceded the drug abuse, but back when he wasn't smoking 6 to 8 bowls a day and having seizures and psychotic episodes and stealing stuff, he could have stopped. Back when he had a choice to WAKE UP and get into rehab, he could have stopped. He choose not to stop before the drugs started to ravage his body. He is 5 foot 9 and only 100lbs. So... is it a disease? If it is, WHY did the doctors just pass him around like a hot potato and say, "so we can't give you pain relief to get off the drugs because this is a PTSD problem -- the pain is all in your head"... or "we can't give you therapy because you need pain relief to get off the drugs." It's no wonder he thought, f*ck it, I might as well annihilate myself and go out high. I was terrible because I enabled him by trying to get him medical help, feeding him, cleaning him, keeping him housed. So now he's on the street because the drugs were so bad for him they made him violent towards me. You know what? It's not acceptable that he's a drug addict and he made HORRIBLE choices for which he now must pay consequences. He ruined his marriage. He ruined his career. He ruined his health. But what's worse is that at some point, the structures that support the health of our society should have stepped in to stop the violence in his family home years ago... when he was a child. They should have said, yes the buck can and will stop here and if you do want help, we won't make it hard for you to get help. I go back and forth between saying "it's society's fault" and "it's his fault". I really think it's a bit of both. Sorry, this is so... I get so emotional thinking about this.

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Joined: July 16, 2019

Posted: July 22, 2019, 10:14 PM
Blackmailed Wife:

I haven't read all of the posts. just too many. I believe the disease concept applies, the body and brain malfunctions in the presence of all that alcohol and other narcotics. But if you are not open to the possibility that substance, it is a waste of time to explain. So Why did you ask?


Your friend is wrong. Drug and alcohol addiction are covered in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5), thus it is in fact a mental health issue. This person is correct in that the drug addict cannot be treated psychologically until the addict is detoxified and abstinent.


With the possible exception of Heroin, substance addiction starts as a choice. Continued abuse becomes an emotional addiction, and further use becomes a physical addiction. The hallmark of addiction is a very strong compulsion to use that is nearly impossible to deny, especially when addiction makes you weak-willed. Those who haven't been there have trouble understanding, but I can live with that because I wouldn't wish it on anybody. Ignorance is bliss!
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