Addiction Is A Choice By Jeffrey A. Schaler Essay

970 Words Apr 8th, 2015 4 Pages
In October of 2002, The Psychiatric Times published the article “Addiction is a Choice” by Jeffrey A. Schaler, PhD. In the article he asserts that addiction as a disease is empirically unsupported by science, an addict can monitor and control his or her use, and the therapy used to treat such affliction only leads patients to believe that they cannot control their behavior because of the belief that they have a disease. He contends that the idea of addiction in not a disease, rather a choice, because it is merely foolish and self-destructive behavior.
Schaler’s first point that science does not support the disease philosophy of addiction continues on to state that because of the lack of scientific backing, addiction is more a behavior and therefore clearly intended by the individual. However, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse under the National Institute of Health (NIH), addiction is defined as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” The NIH considers addiction a brain disease because drugs change the structure of the brain and how it works. The tendency of addiction to run in the family through heredity, the influence that environmental conditions and behavior have on the onset and course of the addiction, the tendency for relapse, and the ability to respond to appropriate treatment are all characteristics that addiction shares with other chronic diseases. The NIH also…

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