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Mike



Number of posts : 56
Location : Birmingham
Registration date : 2008-08-19

PostSubject: Addiction   Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:06 pm

Is addiction an illness, in that it's a medical condition to which some people are especially susceptible through their physical make-up? Or is addiction a choice, which can be overcome through examining the reasons behind those choices, and learning to make different ones? Or is it a combination of the two factors?
If we label addiction as a medical condition, are we more likely to view addicts as unfortunate victims of their genes? If we label addiction as a choice, are we more likely to label addicts as weak-willed or bad at making decisions?
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Mike



Number of posts : 56
Location : Birmingham
Registration date : 2008-08-19

PostSubject: Re: Addiction   Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:11 pm

My personal view is that addiction is mostly a choice. Some people may be more likely to get addicted to something either because of their physical make-up, or because of the circumstances in which they grew up (if their parents or friends were addicts, for example). However, even within these parameters, people always have a choice. I realise that it's not as simple as a choice of 'do I use heroin today or not', but a series of choices can always lead people out of (or into) an addiction.
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Nick

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Number of posts : 102
Age : 47
Location : Birmingham, UK
Registration date : 2008-07-23

PostSubject: Re: Addiction   Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:41 pm

Addiction can be a combination of physical and psychological dependency. Many people are addicted to things psychologically while having no physical dependency. And in many cases the combination of physical and psychological dependency is what it all about.

Almost all addiction must be treated medically, because whether physical and / or psychological, it is still extremely difficult to rid yourself of it, and in many case cases can be the one thing that keeps you going.

I often think of religion as a form of addiction, because like most other addictions, it acts as a crutch for the person to lean on when they cannot cope on their own, providing either help for, or a way of blocking out, the other problems in that person’s life and allows them to continue their life without addressing the real issues.

I wouldn’t say that addiction is a choice as such, as few addicts would rationally choose to be addicts. They may choose to take whatever they are addicted to in order to help them with other problems they have in life, but not so much to be addicts as such (in fact most addicts refuse to admit that they are actually addicts and claim that they can control whatever they are addicted to, rather than being controlled by the addiction).

The term “choice” can be open to interpretation here though. If someone “chooses” to become a heroin addict because they can find no other way to deal with their problems in life, is that really a choice? Or is it more of a survival mechanism? Can clinging on to whatever you think may “save” you from the problem you are in really be considered to be “choosing”?
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