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Addiction: A Choice?

woman makes choice to begin addiction treatment

Recovery from an addiction can be difficult because of all the stigma surrounding substance use disorders and mental illnesses. Much of this stigma comes from those who are not struggling with these sorts of things. On occasion, we may even stigmatize ourselves, using “should” statements to criticize ourselves and our situation. But others, however, spew stigma both knowingly and unknowingly, saying that addiction is a choice. Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to set the record straight. Addiction is not a choice. Continue reading to learn more.   

Myth: Addiction Is a Choice.

When people first start using a substance, they don’t use it with the hopes of becoming addicted to it. People who say this are flat out wrong. These people usually are not dealing with addictions firsthand and they tend to focus on the notion that the person chose to use in the first place. While this is true, the reason for picking up a substance is unclear as it is not the same for all os us. Some start using because they are dealing with feelings that are so strong that they don’t know where else to turn. Dealing with co-occurring disorders is tough and it adds another thing to your plate. Addiction can be many things, but it’s definitely not a choice.   

Truth: Addiction Is a Disease. 

Here’s the simple truth: addiction is a disease just like any other. We know that changes in our brain chemistry dictate a disease. For example, it is widely known and accepted that diabetes is a disease. Instead of telling people with diabetes that they should just try harder to make their own insulin, we get them insulin so that their quality of life is better and they can live longer. If this is the case, then why do we treat those with addictions any different? They are dealing with a disease that has needs that need to be met. We need to start treating addiction like the disease that it is. People with addictions need compassionate treatment, not stigma. That’s where we come in.    

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you if you are struggling with the very real disease of addiction or a co-occurring disorder. We can help you. You just have to take that first step and reach out for help. Call our compassionate and trained staff today at 844-413-2690 to learn more about the many programs we offer. One of them will be a good fit for you. We can’t wait to hear from you. Call now.