The Difference between Choice and Addiction By: Michael Chorba Jr. COM 220 June 30, 2010 Nicole Mclnnes Doctors believe that addiction or alcoholism isn’t a choice but believe that it is a disease. The definition of disease is “A definite pathologic process with a characteristic set of signs and symptoms. It may affect the whole body or any of its parts, and its etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown” (MDO, 2010). Addiction and alcoholism is more of a disease than a choice.
This is because a disease makes people sick and withdrawal will give you symptoms like runny nose, cold sweats, troubles sleeping and nausea just like the flu. Also the human brain can be chemically changed which could cause unstable amounts of chemicals being produced. The body and brain will grow accustomed to these chemicals. When the brain and body suddenly stops receiving these chemicals it can cause the body to go into withdraw. Those characteristics can cause people to be psychotic which is a disease but drugs can cause the same effect as those diseases.
More than 28 million Americans are children of alcoholics or drug addicts; nearly 11 million are under the age of 18. This figure is magnified by the countless number of others who are affected by parents who are impaired by other psychoactive drugs (NCA, 2009). It can be spread like a disease and also addiction can affect the normal functions of the brain and other organs. I personally know for a fact that addiction isn’t a choice it’s a disease. My own mother had problems with alcohol. She was constantly partying with her friends until the sun rose.
Her addiction to alcohol never really affected me because I never had a stomach for alcohol consumption. Later did I find out that my mother was also snorting cocaine and painkillers. I still remember the night that she asked me if I have ever done it. At that point in time I used to smoke marijuana but I never ever thought about touching any hard drugs so my answer was no. My own mother had the nerve to ask me if I wanted some. I was fifteen years old and naive. I was curious at that age and thought it my mom was doing it and she was willing to offer it to me then it couldn’t be that bad.
I recall using cocaine with my mother a couple times but only with her and no one else. I never really like cocaine so I never got addicted to it. At the same time she introduced me to cocaine she also introduced me to narcotic painkillers. It started out when she gave me some pills that she got from the hospital after an accident. Then and there I realized that I really like the feeling that it gave me. After that everything went downhill. It got to the point where she was giving them to me before school. Every time she got a script of narcotic painkillers she would leave them out of the counter for me.
She has also bought them illegally for her and me. I never seen my mother as a caring responsible parent but I saw her ask a friend. After awhile I have distanced myself from my mother and I am currently going to theory appointments for my addiction. I want to know how is it a choice when your own mother influences you to do these kinds of things. American children have addicted parents| Number| Children of adults addicted| 28 million+| Children under the age of 18| 11 million| Therefore, children are vulnerable to the devastating effects that have an alcoholic or drug abuser in their family. This disease can be spread in multiply ways like genetics, behavioural, psychological, cultural and environmental” (NCA, 2009). Alcoholism and addiction to substance can be spread through heredity just like a disease. Past generations from the family can carry the heredity gene that will cause younger generations to become addicts or alcoholics. Also when a female is pregnant irresponsibly in the depths of an addiction during her pregnancy, would cause not only birth defects but the child could also become addicted to the chemicals.
Sometimes when pregnant women are using, they will cause their child to have a mental disorder like Down syndrome, or even autism. When a child is in an environment, in which drug abuse or alcoholism takes place he or she has an increased risk of becoming an alcoholic or substance abuser himself or herself. In this type of environment the child may also be forced to use the substances by the addicted abusing parents. The parents who use drugs and alcohol to cope with their lives will teach their children to cope with their lives the same way.
This may cause the child to be taken out of a home and put into a foster care, or may be an institution. “Statistics show that 43 percent of adult Americans have been exposed to alcoholism and drug addiction in their families” (NCA, 2009). However, drug addiction and alcoholism causes physical illnesses but it, also causes mental illnesses. When a child is introduced to this disease in the past it, can cause a psychiatric disorder. When a child is in an environment with a substance abuser he or she will play a certain role in the family who will later affect the child’s mentality.
For instance the child can play the role of a scapegoat who takes the blame, the hero who saves the day, the mascot that entertains, the chief enabler, the little parent or the lost child fades away in a family (AWA, 2009). These certain roles that they play as a child can cause a variety of mental disorders and change of behaviors. If a “lost child” feels unhappy because he or she gets no attention from the family this can lead to depression, which can later cause addiction. Some other affects that addiction role playing can cause are the fear of feeling, guilt, shame, hopelessness, loneliness, and frustration. Also Mistreated children of substance abusing parents are more likely to have inferior physical, intellectual, social, and emotional outcomes and are at greater risk of developing substance abuse problems themselves” (Krisha McCoy, 2009). Children with substance abusing parents most likely witness abuse in their family, and as well as other’s. These children who witness abuse either witness it seen in other families, and sometimes it may happen to themselves by their parents. Domestic abuse in an addicted family can cause psychological disorders.
Sometimes this is always the case, but then again some children have mental disorders from their parents abusing their children and their selves. This can cause parents to neglect their children in many ways. Parents sometimes waste their money on their substances to make themselves happy, and forget that children need food and other nutrition. They neglect their children by ignoring them and mistreating them causing most children to have suicidal thoughts. Not only do parents have major mood swings from withdrawal but so will the children who may also lead to violence. Addiction in a family can affect a child’s learning abilities but if the hild is an addict and he is going through withdrawal the child will witness difficulties in learning and also if the family has issues with an addiction and is going through withdrawal there will be problems at home that will cause the child to have an outbreak of violence. “Learning abilities cause up to 20% of Americans to feel unfulfilled” (AP, 1999). If the parents are using them may cause the children to feel alone, or sometimes they might even hurt the children by making them use the substances the parents are using. This would cause the child to have no friends, or anyone to help him or her.
This is why humanity has therapists in which children may walk in and get help and talk to someone about his or her issues. Sometimes children do not make it in time to understand this and the suicidal thoughts might just kick in. This will cause the child to cut themselves or maybe even try to kill him or herself. When this happens parents are most likely to hit their child even more, for the way that the child is acting. The child will feel fear but hide it from their parents. If the child passes away sometimes parents will get help and fix him or herself, and sometimes other parents may have suicidal thoughts as well.
This could cause a huge heartbreak to many people around them. In conclusion the act of substance abuse or alcohol abuse isn’t a choice but a disease spread by parents with addictions themselves. Addiction is just like a disease because it can be spread like a disease and can affect the normal functions of the brain and other organs. Children with alcoholic or drug addicted parents are the main cause for substance abuse and alcoholism therefore addiction isn’t choice it is a disease almost like a flu that can only be fixed or cured with the help from a certified physician or medication.
After reading this information do you think that addiction is a choice or a disease? Work Cited Addiction. Retrieved from XRefer XML database. June 5, 2010. http://ehis. ebscohost. com/ehost/detail? vid=3&hid=101&sid=8fb623a5-b30f-4d26-aeaf-93cd259e487f%40sessionmgr110&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=fde0b43e&AN= Adoption for Pennsylvania. Febuary, 1999. June 1, 2010. http://library. adoption. com/articles/substance-abuse-and-learning-disabilities-is-there-a-link. html American Psychological Assoc. Addiction.
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