Addiction = Disease or Weakness?

Last week, I saw a YouTube video that spewed some of the same hate that has sadly become routine. The guy ranted about how if you say you have the “disease” of addiction, you’re just “weak.”

Let’s break this down in the least-scientific way possible. I’m so tired of this argument. 

I believe strongly in the potential of everyone to recover. I also believe strongly in personal accountability. 

Am I biased? Perhaps. I stuck a needle in my arm for years. 

But… don’t you DARE call me weak.

Listen, I absolutely made a CHOICE to try drugs. I have to own that. I blame no one but myself. 

There are things in our lives, however, that are out of our control. People can get to the point where the escape of drugs (or anything else) becomes preferable to reality. 

It’s the “easy” route. I don’t deny that for a second. 

Humans like the easy route. We live in an era of instant gratification. Our society has become lazy and entitled. 

Addiction is not cancer. I can agree with that. Neither is taking the escalator instead of the stairs. 

I tried drugs because I completely HATED how it felt to be alone with my thoughts. I put myself in that prison when the “choice” evaporated into a constant struggle to avoid withdrawal. 

Escape became dependency. Dependency became shame. Shame became fear. Fear became despair. Despair became hopelessness. 

To the guy shouting on YouTube about how “weak” addicts are: dude, I used to think the same thing. 

I’ve also realized the error of my ways. 

Grouping all “addicts” together is also an “easy” way out, especially when you’ve never had it hit you or your family. 

It’s hard to recover. It’s also hard to sit with someone and talk about why they’ve given up and resorted to a substance. 

It takes a big person to let another cry on their shoulder. It takes strength to listen to a story of pain, loss, and regret. It takes a powerful individual to let someone lean on you in a time of need. 

It takes a little man to kick people while they’re down. 

If you think “disease” is a cop-out, that’s your opinion. Addiction isn’t a disease? Fine. 

Neither is being an asshole. 

You CHOSE that. 

I’ve been a “junkie” before but I’m powerful AF. NOBODY gets to take the blame for my actions because I’m not letting anyone else take credit for the work I did to climb out of that hell. 

I’m not weak. I had moments of weakness that resulted in a loss of control. 

You want to flex? Show your strength by extending compassion to those at their lowest. It’s their responsibility to clean up their mess and reclaim their lives. 

It’s not your responsibility to rescue them, but I can guarantee that your hate doesn’t make you feel better about yourself. 

Maybe some love would. 

Especially when it’s not easy. 

One Response to Addiction = Disease or Weakness?

  1. Roxanne Noonan July 20, 2017 at 11:32 pm #

    How do i cope with knowing my sons paranoia comes from using meth? He is 24 years old and has been doing it off and on since 17 I got him into a rehab but he just walked out tried to get him in a lockdown facility and he doesn’t qualify because he’s not that far gone. How do I cope knowing I may never see my son again?