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Addiction: Disease or Choice?
  1. #1
    tom316 is offline Member
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    Default Addiction: Disease or Choice?

    B4 you reply hear me out! These are my thoughts on addiction.They are meant to get people thinking about themselves and their addiction! Here we go... Addiction is not a disease it's a choice that we make! Yes,I did say "we" I'm one also! The word disease is something that everyone around us wants to hear,along with ourselves.They can save face by saying " You know He/she have an addiction,it's a disease don't you know." For us it's a crutch a word to hide behind something to make ourselves feel better,about our choice! I made the choice to take more pills,no one did it for me.I made the choice to go to the Methadone clinic for help. What a bunch of **** that place was.I made the choice to stop taking Methadone cold turkey! Nobody did it for me! If it was a disease what happened to make me cured from it.Not a damn thing!It was my choice.Now I'm not saying to do what I did.If you're on a high dose of Methadone or something on those lines make the choice to come down and get off of it! Think about life before you made your choice!Remember how clear things were.
    Feel free to reply good or bad! I will not argue over someones opinion.I do respect all of you going through this it's tuff! I know! Almost 21 days off of Methadone.I would hope most of you would wish me luck,because to all of you I wish you the best of luck beating this beast! You can do it!

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    Baby Steps is offline Senior Member
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    Hello Tom,

    I would like to respond in brief. I believe the definitions of Addiction and Disease are quite broad to compress it into a simple analogy of choice vs. physical disease. There are so many different circumstances that cause addiction that I would hesitate to place them in two categories. My situation was not a choice of addiction but turned into a physical addiction due to the length of use of needed drugs.

    I was hit not once but twice by a mac truck that ended up pinning me between it and a jersey wall. It took them 2 hours to cut me out of my car and get me flown to the hospital. My pelvis was crushed along with spinal, leg back and neck injuries. 6 months in the hospital and 12 surgeries later I am literally pinned together and will never be the same. But I am alive. Even though many many times I wanted to be dead, God spared me for a reason which I have come to figure out what that is but that is another long story.

    My point being, I never took anything stronger than aspirin for 40yrs. I don't even drink. But after the accident and the meds I was on for so long I have turned into a raging addict as my body has known nothing else for over a year. So I have decided on my own to try and release myself from the addiction as I hate it. What will I do for the pain? I'm not sure but I just can't do this anymore. It has controlled my life in a terrible way and I want out. So would you call this a choice I made? Or a physical disease? Hmmm... Makes you think.

    Now as far as everyone's reason for their final addiction point... I don't believe for a minute that even the social user all the way to a user addict like me started taking the drug by choice to get to this point. There is a component in these drugs that take over the receptors in the brain that cause you to NEED them after a while. Physically. I call that a disease. It may have started out a choice but turned into a terrible disease. No different from cigarettes and alcohol.

    Just a thought not a sermon.... Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts and I respect yours as well.

    Congratulations on your clean time! I am so very proud of you and I know that wasn't easy. Good Job!!! Hang in there!!

    I'll see you back over on the Painkiller Addiction board... My very favorite board where I have met some very dear friends who have become such an inspiration and support. I'm glad you found us over there!!!

    Hugz,

    Baby Steps

  3. #3
    tom316 is offline Member
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    Great thought! I too had the samething happen,car wreck,meds. There comes a point that the meds don't work.So if I take another one I'll feel better and so on! But it is a choice. I'm 32 and have to have both of my knees replaced along with my back and neck messed up really bad from the wreck. How am I sitting here without pain med.I have no clue. I understand the physical part of it,I've done it for the last 8 1/2 years.I've been as sick as you could be,I've been as stoned as you could be.At my worst, I could take 120 lorcet in about 2 to 3 days.That was my choice.It wasn't a disease that made me do it. I've heard the whole nerve thing and I understand what the med does but,that is not a disease.It's how the med helps control the pain.It's what the med was meant to do. Why would a dr give you a pill that they know causes a disease.Think about that.

  4. #4
    Baby Steps is offline Senior Member
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    Honestly Tom, I don't think my doc cared about the consequences of addiction when my body was literally shaking and in shock from the pain. And I continue to suffer from excruciating pain. I do know he said with what I will need to take I will become addicted but that after we get my body stabilized we would focus on coming off the meds at that point. I've actually even had surgery to sever several nerves that were allowing me to feel the pain. Which has helped with a lot of the major pain but because the meds became addictive my body needed them not wanted them. One choice I did make was not to allow anything stronger than dilaudid and vics because they wanted to put me on Fentanyl patches with oxycontin for break through, I chose not to take those so I still have pain but it's tolerable. If you look up disease you'll find it's definition is not as simple as cancer, Heart etc... it also includes things such as alcoholism, drug addiction, anorexia etc..

    So where I stand in my thoughts is that it is a very complex definition and very hard to place in any certain category.

    I do see your point as far as choosing to use out of recreation but it still leads to addiction which then becomes a disease. So yes, in my opinion those who choose to use that way choose their final destiny but I can tell you they weren't aware of the final destination when they began.

    Hmmm... I guess this is just too much to figure out especially while I'm going through w/d and feeling the pain. So I'll go ahead and let you have this one.

    Hugz,
    Baby Steps

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    mpvt is offline Platinum Member
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    I have been an addict for 26 years.It started out as taking propoxyphene after knee surgery and quickly escalated from there.My mom and dad were\are addicts both to booze and opiates so I have always thought there may be some sort of gene that made me more prone to addiction.I do remember years and years ago thinking, if I quit now I can walk away from this type of life but I wanted that euphroric high which after the first 5 years I never felt again.The Blakistons New Gould Medical Dictionary describes disease as:An illness or sickness. A disturbance in function or structure of any organ or part of the body.Now to me that is a very broad discription but I have never felt comfortable saying that addiction is a disease.To me disease is like cancer or alzheimers.Addiction to me is a medical condition which effects both mental and physical aspects of the body.I have for the last four years controlled my addiction with methadone.It works for me and I don't really have any plans to get off it unless there is a better alternative in the future.I applaud anyone who tries to get this thing under control or beat it whatever.It's a terrible thing to live with and it kills alot of people that should of had a long productive life and that's one reason why I come here everyday,to help anyone who asks.That's all we can do is support each other and share info.........Dave

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    Baby Steps is offline Senior Member
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    Excellent Post MVPT as always!! You are always here to post your knowledge and wisdom wheter by experience or research and I am always intrigued by it as well as look forward to it. Thanks so much!! I am very happy you are here and I, like you are always here for support no matter what we call it or no matter how we got here. We are here with the same problem. (most of us anyway)

    You're Awesome as always and Thanks for the definition. I knew it was a broad definition and could apply to many situations we wouldn't believe.

    Stay sweet!!!

    Hugz as always,

    Baby Steps

    and BTW I'm with you on the c/t... It's not easy but really the only option I have and hopefully this 2nd effort will hold. I'm praying.

  7. #7
    tom316 is offline Member
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    mpvt great post! this wasn't started to make anyone mad or anything like that.The true reason the thread was started was to get info and to let people know it CAN BE DONE!

    baby steps,I had my head up my you know what when i started this thread. I understand what you're going through. It wasnt meant for people that had no choice but to take this stuff to live a so called normal life.I was one of those people at one time then the abuse starts!

    This thread is here to let everyone know that you have a choice in life. My choice after a long time with opiate addiction was to go to a methadone clinic. then after some research my next choice was to quit methadone cold turkey. 100 mg of methadone may not sound like alot to quit c/t but I had enough people on my butt asking and telling me that i should have someone watching over my withdrawl.Well,I didn't I made the choice to do it myself! If I would have made the right choice the first time I wouldn't have lost almost everything!

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    Baby Steps is offline Senior Member
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    Hey Tom... I wasn't saying anything bad about your post. I am always up for a nice clean challenge and you posed one... Good job!

    And OMGAH I am so so so proud of you for taking that step in getting off the methadone!!! You have done excellent!!! From what I hear that stuff is hell to get off of and you did it!!! You are def. an inspiration to all of those who are scared to death to get off it!! Please help those who need your advice. I am just amazed.

    Hang in there!!! You've come a long way baby!!!

    Hugz,

    Baby Steps to a Normal Life

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    tom316 is offline Member
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    baby steps,thanks for the kind words. I think what I have gone through this past few months anything can be done! ex. My whole life I was afraid of death. after a suicide attempt on dec.7,2006 with 64 sleeping pills that didn't work I figured what is there to be scared of? If I die today or whenever I died clean! I'm not scared of death but snakes still scare the hell out of me!lol My only advice is for us addicts to make the choice to get clean,stay clean and live life like we did b4 the addiction!

  10. #10
    Baby Steps is offline Senior Member
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    AMEN to that Tom!!! And I hate snakes too!!! I am so happy your attempt at suicide didn't work. You have to know you are here for a reason because that should've killed you!! That amount could kill a horse! So take advantage of God's gift of life to you and set out to do what God has you here to do... whatever that is...LOL Just stay away from those snakes!!! Yikes I hate Snakes and Spiders!!! Like that song... [8D]

    You're such a sweetie!!!

    Hugz,

    Baby Steps to a somewhat Normal Life []

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    Baby Steps is offline Senior Member
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    Hey Tom can you pop in to the "Is cold turkey for me?" Maybe you can give Jeff some good advice. I'm not up on the methadone and other pills. And I think you might be able to help him. He has so much to live for.

    Thanks Tom you are the BEST!!!! [8D]

    Baby Steps

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    sydbean is offline Member
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    Tom the one thing that came to mind for me when I read your post was that: The moment an addict lets down their guard and considers themselves "cured" they are in BIG trouble. Once an addict always an addict. Not sure how that plays into your overall argument of disease vs. choice but I do know that it is a fact that once an addict always an addict. The difference has been proven through the bodies response to drugs it is missing the minute they are introduced when the body is in w/d and other such studies...I wish I could site the reference but for now I can't but anyway I think you get my point.

    On the other subject I am not going to comment because I know myself well enough to know that the entire subject is just too much of a sore subject for me in my life right now and I know that my thoughts/comments will not be subjective!!

    That being said...I think it is a great question and I am looking forward to reading everyone’s comments!!!

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    Baby Steps is offline Senior Member
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    Awesome response Syd and so true!!! You are absolutely right... Once an addict Always an addict no matter what the circumstances are... It's a fact!! No need to find the study to prove your post.

    Hugz,

    Baby Steps

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