Saturday, January 12, 2013

Choice In Addiction

The other day I was taking part of a chemical dependency group at my practicum/internship site. The facilitator decided to show a video of what addiction does to your body and your brain for the 5 group goers. In this video it showed how addiction works in the brain and also talked about what it can do to your body mainly major organs etc. As I sat watching this video they talked about the disease model and it stated "it is not a choice". I immediately wrote down in my journal (which I have started for my practicum/internship).....Is there no choice in addiction? What are the consequences of believing that way?

Now I have talked many times before about how once someone is addicted there comes a point in time where I believe the addiction chooses for them. They continue using because biologically they must in order to avoid the nasty withdrawal that most addicts fear and sometimes they continue to use to avoid actually dealing with whatever they are self medicating be it emotions, thoughts, whatever. But does that mean that addiction and recovering from addiction has no choice whatsoever in it? I am honestly not so sure. If you take away the ability to choose do you take away the ability of the person? Maybe it is safer to say that you have no choice in addiction but you have the power of choice in recovery? That is how I am leaning.


To me it looks like this...when you are addicted the drug of choice makes the choice for you however once you have detoxed you then have the power of choice back and you are responsible for your own recovery. Only you can change you. Of course you need support along the way but ultimately your recovery is yours and it becomes your choice how you live out your recovery. I believe that recovering addicts have to take back the choice and control over themselves in order to be successful in their recovery. So yes in some ways you have choice in addiction because you have choice over your recovery which is part of your addiction.

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