Addiction is a conundrum. It’s manifestation is tragedy.
Now, the recognition of addiction has a primary disease of the brain I think is good, but question we need to ask is: what good is it?
I wonder what kind of money making opportunities open up because of this seemingly ethical win for the treatment of addiction.
Because, if we say that it is specifically a neurological disorder now all of a sudden we’ve given license and motivation for large abuses by pharmaceutical companies.
My question is: How did one who was afflicted by this brain disorder, one who completely destroyed her life, was basically on some sort of intoxicant for 27 years — how did this person with a physical brain manifestation of addiction who had been using substances for 27 years suddenly stop without any effort or medical or theoretical intervention at all? and be happy, never to worry or return to active addiction?
I think while recognition of its primary status as disease is important, the story is not over and is hardly recognized.
This reported and accepted definition of addiction does extend beyond mere substance-abuse, I think one of the other problems of this situation has to do with how addiction to substances might be conflated into categories of addiction of which it has no common basis. So what if someone is addicted to chocolate? They are so sad and depressed because they’re overweight because they eat chocolate brownies all day long. Have they burn all their bridges with their family members and friends? Have they started stealing from Department stores and gas stations? Perhaps they are both depressed and unhappy, but it could be a case of a sort of parallel evolution which have no common cause. And then also, one treatment of depression, while alleviating the problem of eating chocolate, may do little to stop one from shooting cocaine.
We still have many problems and questions to sort out, and I hope this recognition does not cloud the complexity of the issue, to reduce it to a unitive holistic category “neurology”.
For example, for the substance abuse part of it: what exactly are we after in trying to remedy addiction?
Are we only trying to get them to be able to hold a job? To be contributing socially? Do you just not use drugs? We might do that with a legal cocktail of drugs.
Or are we trying to get a comfortable, productive, and happy person who lives a filling life?
Would we be providing a disservice to an addict by telling them that they have a physical problem that can only be solves with the continuing use of other, more socially acceptable, substance?
I know plenty of substance abuse addicts who stay sober “just for today” who also have to constantly remind themselves to not use today, who are otherwise not very content nor happy accept that they are not using drugs.
Must we really shoot for the lowest possible outcome? Or can there be a variety of acceptable outcomes? Do we enforce the lowest and hope for better? Or do we present the best possible outcome –however that manifests, do not condemn any level of success short of using again.
As well, though, I know some addicts for whom using is no longer an issue. They do not think about it, they don’t worry about using; the problem is simply gone.
How does the neurological model explain that?
How do we inspire toward the best outcome, which is, complete recovery and no residual possibility of abusing drugs again, while also not shaming people who’s best is to just not use today?