Is Addiction a Choice or a Disease: Introduction to My Addiction

There’s so much judgment when it comes to addiction and there’s never a fair assessment. A person chose to do the drugs, so we shake our fingers at them. We feed them shame without considering the reality of the situation.

For me, it was a common escape from reality but not only that. I wanted to desensitize myself from the harsh world. It happens that I feel too much (bipolar disorder does that to a person). Sometimes it’s more than I can handle. I use to turn to the comfort of drugs.

I grew up in an environment where drugs were the largest element. Over the years, the drugs changed, the attitudes stayed the same. I promised myself that I’d never touch meth. I watched my parents destroy their lives over it.

I was twenty two. I was just a social drinker but it was drugs that I loved. It was that dopamine rush, that feeling of euphoria. Happiness wasn’t an emotion I could grasp. I was offered the glass pipe and I didn’t hesitate in taking it.

For about two years, I could handle it. I dabbled in the meth world once in a blue moon. When I hit twenty four, I started having a slight mental breakdown. A best friend of mine had committed suicide, I was recently out of a relationship with a heavy opiate user, and I couldn’t cope. I wasn’t taught how to cope. It was a foreign custom of the dreaded “normal people”. I was also battling mental illness. Double whammy.

These aren’t excuses for my drug use. These are facts. I desired love and I craved disassociation. I think people forget that an addict, any addict is human underneath the mask. That’s exactly what addiction is, a mask. A mask to protect ourselves from hurt. You see a mask of a liar or a thief.


I have rewritten this post approximately ten times tonight. This is often part of my writing process, but it was so much more than that. It was getting intimate with strangers that threw me off but I feel that’s what people are starving for, someone with experience with addiction.

I had started writing a scientific post about whether or not addiction was a choice or a disease. I’ve felt divided on the subject so I did a lot of research today and you know what I found? That powerful debate on whether or not it’s a choice, the answer is *drum roll* … there still isn’t an answer. I read studies proving it was a disease, I read studies proving the opposite.

My logical self says that it’s no-doubt-about-it choice. In my case, I chose to mess around with meth and I knew the consequences. The worst part of it all was that I knew the results first hand, not from D.A.R.E. I should have known better. I understand that this was a choice. I also chose to get sober.

My emotional self is aware that it’s not just a choice. The triggers, the cravings. Two years of sobriety and I still have dreams about it. I’m high in my dreams, I’m smoking in my dreams. That is my brain acting up. My brain was neglected during my drug abuse. My poor brain was modified to exist with the drugs and then systematically destroyed from the drugs. I still finding myself twitch out of excitement or bear down on my teeth and lick my lips while I’m writing. The “old habits die hard” truly applies.

Addiction is too complex for choice, too humble for disease.

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t fucking matter. What matters is that there are crystal meth labs blowing up apartment complexes with children inside. Opiates are killing people off one by one. The war on drugs (it’s not even compelling enough to capitalize) has lost. We are losing people. We need to redirect our focus.

I was thinking too hard again and making this post more difficult than it needs to be. There’s so much I want to say to connect with anyone out there that’s going through addiction or has been through addiction. I want friends and family members of addicts to understand. This is my number one goal, as it is my goal to connect with those with mental health and those with chronic pain. These are the reasons I started this blog. I know what it’s like to feel alone in your search for happiness.

I keep changing my mind, as my dedicated readers are aware, about the format I want to represent different subjects. I intended to do write two more posts about bipolar disorder but that craving came back today. So instead of taking drugs, I took to writing.


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2 thoughts on “Is Addiction a Choice or a Disease: Introduction to My Addiction”

  1. Casey, this is a great post and I agree with you. Addiction is a complex issue and a choice or a disease doesn’t quite cover it. What’s more, certain people are more susceptible. Native Americans and their propensity for alcoholism is one such example.

    Anyway, I have Asperger’s syndrome myself and have struggled with depression and addiction issues myself, so I can relate. Benzodiazepines are my drug of choice.

    My older brother recently completed one year of court ordered treatment treatment for opiate addiction after nearly dying twice from overdoses, One happened on my kitchen floor.

    Thanks for speaking out about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, Sarah! I greatly appreciate it. I hope to post more about addiction. I think people forget while they are judging that addicts are human beings. We aren’t all trash. There are reasons we succumb to drugs. The funny thing is, depending on a lot of factors, they could just as easily become addicts. “If you wouldn’t have tried the drug…” but people don’t say that when it comes to gambling or alcoholism.

      There are many factors that contribute to addiction. I think genetics are a huge factor as well as environment. I knew my parents were on drugs but they still tried to instill in me that drugs were bad but I wasn’t taught growing up how to cope with things. I only saw them coping with drugs. That’s not excuse, just an example.

      I’m sorry about your brother but sometimes court ordered rehab helps a lot so maybe it was a good thing!

      I think we need to stop fighting about whether it’s a disease and focus our attentions on what we can do to prevent addicts, what we can do to help current addicts. I don’t think that just rehabs & NA are the answer. We need to do something because it’s getting worse and worse.

      Liked by 1 person

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