15 doctors weighed in:
Is drug addiction a disease or a choice?
15 doctors weighed in

Dr. Jeff Blixt
Addiction Medicine
8 doctors agree
In brief: Recovery is a choice
Most people need treatment to help arrest there addiction, lots of help.
Some choose that help and others don't, i'm not alway sure why. I will tell you this, it does not always have to do with how "bad" their addiction was or how much drugs or alcohol people used, at some point they just make that decision and accept the help they need, aa calls it a "spiritual awakening", its why I do this.

In brief: Recovery is a choice
Most people need treatment to help arrest there addiction, lots of help.
Some choose that help and others don't, i'm not alway sure why. I will tell you this, it does not always have to do with how "bad" their addiction was or how much drugs or alcohol people used, at some point they just make that decision and accept the help they need, aa calls it a "spiritual awakening", its why I do this.
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Thank
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Addiction Medicine
6 doctors agree
In brief: Still with me?
Addiction fits the model of other chronic diseases, genes play a role, but so does choice.
When people are in the midist of their addiction, they are not choosing to do what they are doing, their neurocircuitry is abnormal and drives their motivation. Their drug of choice is literally more important than anything else, food, family, sex, anything. Their reward center has been highjacked.

In brief: Still with me?
Addiction fits the model of other chronic diseases, genes play a role, but so does choice.
When people are in the midist of their addiction, they are not choosing to do what they are doing, their neurocircuitry is abnormal and drives their motivation. Their drug of choice is literally more important than anything else, food, family, sex, anything. Their reward center has been highjacked.
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Thank
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Addiction Medicine
4 doctors agree
In brief: Lets continue
Diabetes, obesity is a risk for that, is obesity a choice or disease.
Some people choose to eat too much, some people have a food addiction. Though genetics can also play a large role in obesity, some people will have a different metabolic rate, abnormal amount of hormones or neurotransmitters that drive their obesity. They were raised in a family that rewarded with food, is that a choice for them.

In brief: Lets continue
Diabetes, obesity is a risk for that, is obesity a choice or disease.
Some people choose to eat too much, some people have a food addiction. Though genetics can also play a large role in obesity, some people will have a different metabolic rate, abnormal amount of hormones or neurotransmitters that drive their obesity. They were raised in a family that rewarded with food, is that a choice for them.
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Thank
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Addiction Medicine
4 doctors agree
In brief: Lets compare first?
Is type 2 diabetes a disease or choice.
Clearly there is a strong genetic component to this disease, yet not everyone with the genes gets it, lifestyle is very important as well, proper diet, weight management, regular exercies, these are choices right? Then if diagnosed some people follow therapy and some don't and suffer the consequences, loss of vision, limb loss, heart disease, to be continued.

In brief: Lets compare first?
Is type 2 diabetes a disease or choice.
Clearly there is a strong genetic component to this disease, yet not everyone with the genes gets it, lifestyle is very important as well, proper diet, weight management, regular exercies, these are choices right? Then if diagnosed some people follow therapy and some don't and suffer the consequences, loss of vision, limb loss, heart disease, to be continued.
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Thank
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Mostly disease
The nimh has published a standard describing the abnormal neural networks involved in alcohol& drug addiction.
The apa has published data depicting 90% of alcoholics as untreated adhd patients. The majority of addicted patients are self medicating themselves into a dismal drug downward spiral. Recovery involves determining the cause & treatment of the addiction. Very few people are just addicts.

In brief: Mostly disease
The nimh has published a standard describing the abnormal neural networks involved in alcohol& drug addiction.
The apa has published data depicting 90% of alcoholics as untreated adhd patients. The majority of addicted patients are self medicating themselves into a dismal drug downward spiral. Recovery involves determining the cause & treatment of the addiction. Very few people are just addicts.
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Thank
Dr. Norman Marcus
Pain Management
3 doctors agree
In brief: Both
Addiction is defined as the compulsive use of and preoccupation with a substance despite damaging effects.
We understand compulsive behavior as an abnormal state. The addict doesn't feel he has a choice even though an observer may believe otherwise. Initial use is a choice, obsessive use a disease.

In brief: Both
Addiction is defined as the compulsive use of and preoccupation with a substance despite damaging effects.
We understand compulsive behavior as an abnormal state. The addict doesn't feel he has a choice even though an observer may believe otherwise. Initial use is a choice, obsessive use a disease.
Dr. Norman Marcus
Dr. Norman Marcus
Thank
Dr. Robert Thilo
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees
In brief: It depends.
"disease" is a conceptual model that has been very beneficial for the relief of suffering caused by chemical dependency.
Obsessive attachment to "the disease" can limit the extent of recovery. Recovery is the development and strengthening of behaviors that offer a choice to the suffering of cd. We can't excise memories of prior behaviors (drug use) that temporarily changed unpleasant feelings.

In brief: It depends.
"disease" is a conceptual model that has been very beneficial for the relief of suffering caused by chemical dependency.
Obsessive attachment to "the disease" can limit the extent of recovery. Recovery is the development and strengthening of behaviors that offer a choice to the suffering of cd. We can't excise memories of prior behaviors (drug use) that temporarily changed unpleasant feelings.
Dr. Robert Thilo
Dr. Robert Thilo
Thank
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