Is Addiction a Selfish Disease?

Is Addiction a Selfish Disease?Although addiction may seem like a selfish condition, addiction is a brain disease brought on by the use of substances that alter brain chemistry. Substance abuse can cause users to experience intense drug cravings that are impossible to ignore. No one abuses a drug with the intention of developing addiction. No one wants to spend his or her life savings on drugs or sacrifice personal relationships to compulsive drug use. However, addiction alters a person’s perception of reality to such an extent that behaviors can appear to be extremely self-serving. For a drug addict, nothing is more important than finding and using his or her drug of choice. However, professional treatment can help users overcome this obsession and recover both physically and psychologically from drug addiction. By achieving recovery, drug users can leave behind seemingly selfish behaviors and reestablish a healthy lifestyle.

Addiction Susceptibility from Environmental and Genetic Factors

Researcher Tristan Darland studied the effects of cocaine on fish. For his study, he placed cocaine on one side of a fish tank. The fish enjoyed the effects of cocaine to such an extent that they stayed in the area the cocaine had been present, even after the drug had been removed. Darland then bred fish with one gene altered. These fish were able to resist the cocaine. Based on his study, Darland believes that a person’s susceptibility to developing drug addiction is largely based on genetics, not selfishness.

Susceptibility to addiction is also based on environmental factors. For example, when work causes stress, employees may be tempted to find relief in drug abuse. Also, people who suffer from depression due to negative life events, such as the death of a loved one, may be tempted to self-medicate with drugs. Another environmental factor that may contribute to the development of addiction is trauma that resulted from childhood neglect or abuse. Many factors can lead to addiction, but selfishness is not typically a driving force.

Addiction is a Treatable Disease

Addiction is treatable with the help of high quality professional treatment. Drug users are often unable to conquer their addiction on their own. Mental and physical drug cravings are powerful, and withdrawal symptoms are painful, making sheer willpower inefficient in the face of addiction. Although addicts may appear selfish due to the choices they make, they are simply at the mercy of the effects of strong, mind-altering substances. Professional treatment offers medically supervised detoxification, which helps patients successfully stop using their drugs of addiction. During detoxification, patients are carefully moderated and withdrawal symptoms are treated whenever possible. Withdrawal may still be uncomfortable, but in a treatment center, patients have the built-in support they need to succeed.

After detoxification, patients attend counseling sessions, where they discuss the root cause of their addiction problems. Through counseling, patients learn to cope with their problems in healthy ways so that they can avoid future drug abuse. Addiction is a complicated problem, characterized by both physical and psychological symptoms. Detoxification and counseling are both equally important in addiction treatment. Other treatments may include holistic activities, such as yoga or acupuncture, which help to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms of addiction.

Need Help Finding Addiction Treatment Centers?

If you or someone you love is suffering from the disease of addiction, please rest assured that help is available. Call our toll-free number today to reach a rehab admissions coordinator who can connect you to a high quality treatment program. We are available 24 hours a day to take your call and connect you with a treatment center. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.