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12 Reasons Why My Drug Addiction Is Not A Disease

Drug Addiction Is Not A Disease

That can’t be right.

Are drug addicts really suffering from an incurable disease?

Brianna Lyman doesn’t think so. She wrote a post on Odyssey comparing drug addiction to cancer. It went viral.

She went against everything that drug addicts are taught in recovery.

That we are powerless. That our addiction is a disease. Our sponsors tell us that we aren’t to blame for our moral ineptitude because we didn’t choose to be addicts.

We just. Can’t. Stop!

However, according to Brianna Lyman, we don’t have a disease because we chose to get high.

Nobody made us stick ourselves in the arm with a needle, right?

Even though my cousin gave me my first blunt, I could have said no, isn’t that so, Ms. Lyman?

Brianna Lyman Is A Moron

It’s clueless people like her, who lack a firsthand experience with drug addiction, that encourage our leaders to treat America’s drug problem as a nuisance, instead of an epidemic.

In her article, Brianna Lyman challenges the idea that drug addiction is a disease by comparing it to cancer among children.

Her argument rests on pulling our heartstrings. She talks about children dying to make drug addicts feel guilty.

Essentially, she thinks that children suffering in hospitals didn’t choose their cancer, unlike drug addicts, who chose addiction.

Give me a break, Brianna.

Of course childhood cancer is horrible. Nobody is arguing against that.

I hope that people smarter than me find a cure for cancer tomorrow. While they’re at it, I hope they find a cure for addiction, too.

Think about this:

Cancer is caused by chemicals that we, as adults, knowingly release into the environment.

Haven’t you seen warning labels from the State of California?

Yet parents still buy toys known to be manufactured with cancer-causing plastics.

Sure, children don’t choose cancer for themselves—they don’t have to because we, as adults, choose it for them.

We destroy the environment. Oops, do those waterways provide drinking water that we use in our baby’s formula? Oh, is all of that smog polluting my toddler’s lungs?

My bad.

We build products with hazardous materials, ignore findings from the Health Department, and sacrifice high quality food in favor of cheap, mass-produced goodness.

All of these choices increase cancer rates.

So yes. We, as adults, choose cancer for our children.

We choose cancer everyday that we fail to take responsibility for our carbon footprint.

Likewise, we, as a society, choose addiction for our people.

Remember back in 1839, when Western civilization flooded China with Opium, destroying their people, and thus, the foundation for a peaceful Chinese society?

Drug Addiction Is Not A Disease
Opium in its raw form. (Photo by NDTV)

Look it up, Brianna.

Some of us are actually outraged that drug dealers in American suburbs buy narcotics from China using the dark web.

How easily we forget. It’s called revenge, people.

Social amnesia may strip us of our individual accountability, but it need not make us stupid.

Tara Zahnke, in response to Brianna’s uneducated opinion, said it best:

“Accepting addiction as a disease is not a way for addicts to validate drug use. It is not a cry for pity. It is not enabling them. It is admitting that addicts are sick. It is stating a medically accepted fact. It is admitting that they need treatment. It is them getting one step closer to seeking treatment before the disease leads to death.”

But maybe that moron is onto something here?

Instead of debunking her baseless argument, let’s give Brianna the benefit of the doubt.

Even though my life was falling apart while I was using, and I couldn’t for the life of me stop, let’s pretend she’s right for a second.

Forget the heartbreaking fact that my boyfriend—whom I still love more than myself, even though he refuses to be with me—was beaten by my own intoxicated hand.

Regardless of witnessing good friends devolve into fiends who didn’t care about their wives, children, or jobs, let’s give Brianna’s argument a moment to resonant with us.

Let’s pretend she’s right.

My Drug Addiction Is Not A Disease

But, what does that mean?

If I allow myself to feel, in my soul, that my addiction is not some incurable illness, what are the consequences?

Will my recovery suffer? Will I fool myself into thinking that I can pick up just one more time?

These are the reasons that I think Brianna Lyman may be right (even though she’s an idiot):

1) I Have Humility

I realized that my life had become total chaos.

I don’t know it all. I’m not the best.  Everything I had, I lost.

Addiction got me like it got you.

2) I’m Not Alone

We can pull through together.

Whether it’s my home group, my church, or my tarot cards, I know that a power greater than me exists.

Through prayer and meditation, I can learn to handle this.

3) I Can Rely On Help

There’s no need to live life using old survival skills.

Good people exists. Not everyone is out to get me. I can open up to others without fear.

I’m worthy. People care.

4) I See My Faults

I take the time to discover my mental and physical liabilities.

No longer do I hide in pride, fear, or feelings of superiority.

I realize that I am still angry at people in my life. That anger is poison.

5) I Forgive Myself

Having discovered my shortcomings, I come to realize that I am not perfect.

I practice compassion for myself.

I refrain from blaming myself for everything wrong in my life.

6) I Can Stop

No matter how deep of a ditch into which I drove my life, I have the power to quit.

People sicker than me have found a way to quit drugs and alcohol.

If they can quit, so can I.

7) I Do Recover

Once I quit, I can turn my life around.

Under every grey cloud is a silver lining.

If I keep the faith, I have nothing to fear.

8) I Admit My Wrongs

I no longer run from my mess ups.

Instead of viewing my mistakes as pitfalls, I learn to see them as stepping stones.

I can fix a problem once I know I’m wrong.

9) I Apologize For My Behavior

I stop dwelling on shoulda, woulda, coulda.

The shame that has kept me silent for so long no longer burns within me.

I say sorry, and mean it.

10) I Stay Real With Myself

Nobody can break me, tease me, or convince me that I am less than them.

You can’t blackmail me when I’ve already admitted my faults.

The only person I aim to impress is me.

11) I Have Choices

My old ways convinced me that I was powerless.

I’m not.

As long as I stay clean, I have the power to choose my future.

12) I Help Others Stay Clean

In helping another addict refrain from using, I help myself.

My selfishness washes away in service to others.

I become a pillar of hope to people around me—who suffer—remembering how needed I am.

I can recover whether addiction is a disease or not.

It turns out that it doesn’t matter how I see my drug addiction.

If I want to live clean, I can. I have hope today. There are resources out there to save me—people like me who care. When I get real with myself, I discover that the healing begins.

What do YOU think?

Am I the only one to think that Brianna is a moron?

Is addiction really a disease, or do we just call it that to feel better about our shitty behavior?

Let me know in the comments below right now.

Cory Caaz
Web Designer | Poet | Entrepreneur | Writer

2 thoughts on “12 Reasons Why My Drug Addiction Is Not A Disease

  1. I vote moron! I have had this same argument with a PA and he shared the same twisted, unfounded bias as this lady. A wrong perception!!!

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