Is Substance Abuse A Disease Or A Moral Choice?
According to an article on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273499/ “Addiction is a chronic relapsing disease that we must treat as we do other such diseases. We do not expect the hearts of patients with heart failure to behave normally — we understand that their function has been altered by disease. Why, then, do we expect the brains of substances abusers to behave normally, since we know that their function has also been altered by disease? We understand how genetic polymorphisms can make cancers resistant to treatment; we are quick to show compassion to patients with such cancers. Why, then, can we not show the same understanding and compassion toward people whose genetic polymorphisms make them resistant to stopping smoking, abusing alcohol or injecting narcotics?”
According to another article found at http://www.livescience.com/15563-addiction-defined-brain-disease.html “Addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavior problem involving alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex, experts contend in a new definition of addiction, one that is not solely related to problematic substance abuse.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) just released this new definition of addiction after a four-year process involving more than 80 experts.
"At its core, addiction isn't just a social problem or a moral problem or a criminal problem. It's a brain problem whose behaviors manifest in all these other areas," said Dr. Michael Miller, past president of ASAM who oversaw the development of the new definition. "Many behaviors driven by addiction are real problems and sometimes criminal acts. But the disease is about brains, not drugs. It's about underlying neurology, not outward actions."
Many people affected by drugs cannot stop what they are doing without professional help. Therefore, the answer to the question, “Is Substance Abuse a Disease or a Moral Choice?” is clear. Substance abuse is a...