It’s one of the most popular questions of our time – is addiction a choice? The debate over this question has been ongoing in every community and corner of the world, with experts on both sides sharing their points of view. One thing, however, remains clear – drug and alcohol abuse can lead to serious health problems and even death, so understanding the causes of addiction and how to treat it are two of the biggest healthcare challenges we face today.
What Causes Addiction
You might be wondering what causes addiction, if it is indeed a choice. Experts agree that there is no definitive answer to why some people become addicted to drugs or alcohol while others do not. Those who believe that addiction is purely psychological cite factors such as stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem as contributing factors.
Other experts argue that addiction is caused by physiological factors, such as brain chemistry. This theory purports that individuals who become addicted to drugs or alcohol have brains that are more inclined toward chemical dependency, causing them to feel uncomfortable when not inebriated. Of course, there are likely cases of both psychological and physiological factors working together to cause addiction in some people.
What Causes Addiction
The truth is that anyone who has access to addictive substances and whose brain is hardwired for addiction can develop an addiction. This can include people who were exposed to drugs in utero, those with low genetic resistance to drugs, and those with lower levels of serotonin. However, some populations are especially susceptible to drug addiction, including teenagers who use substances as a way of coping with stress and negative emotions and older adults who often begin taking pain medications later in life.
Is Being an Addict a Choice?
When most people hear that addiction is a disease, they immediately assume that it’s not something you can choose. This isn’t necessarily true though, for one simple reason: some of us choose to take drugs in spite of already knowing about their addictive properties.
If you choose to take drugs knowing that they’re addictive, then yes: it is a choice. However, there are many other factors involved in addiction. You may have been exposed to drugs as a child and your brain has already formed certain connections as a result of that exposure; or perhaps you developed an addiction because of depression or trauma later in life. No matter what your reason for becoming addicted might be, it’s important to recognise that addiction isn’t always about personal choice.
Fighting the Disease of Addiction
Many people refer to addiction as a disease, and it can be an effective analogy. Like any other chronic illness, relapse is common. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are weak or have failed in your battle against drugs or alcohol; it simply means that you need to approach recovery differently. Remember, there is no shame in seeking drug rehab if you’re unable to conquer your addiction on your own.
Where Can I Get Help?
There is no right or wrong answer to is addiction a choice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help. If you believe you have an addiction problem, it might be time to make your first visit to a drug rehab centre near you.
Drug rehab centres in the uk offer treatment options that can help you break your addiction. If you believe that an addiction has taken hold of your life, these treatment programs can be a great place to start freeing yourself from those chains.