Defining addiction leads to a controversial conversation and often a juxtaposition of meaning. On the one hand, there is a school of thought which holds to old misunderstandings of addiction. This school believes that addiction is a criminal activity, committed by people who are lacking in morality, ethics, and values. Highly stigmatized and fueled by shame, as well as judgment, this way of thinking causes men struggling with addiction to be punished and ostracized rather than supported and helped.
The opposite side of this coin is not necessarily the most helpful or supportive way of thinking either. Typically, on the other hand of defining addiction, there is the disease model. Addiction as a medical disease has gained a large following in many professional fields, politics, as well as among men in recovery, their friends, and family members. Many components of what defines a disease or a disorder do apply to addiction and make more sense for understanding addiction. Problematically, this way of looking at addiction commonly emphasizes a subtle, but damaging facet: that addiction, as a disease, leaves men sick. Rather than be criminals void of a moral or ethical compass, men who have lived with addiction become broken- never to be fully fixed.
Addiction is not a crime. While the way that addiction affects the brain does compromise the functional ability to make morally or ethically inclined decisions, men who become addicted to drugs and alcohol are not immoral. Certainly, men under the influence of mind altering substances can act against ethics and values. However, it can never be stated that men who are not under the influence of mind altering substances do not do the very same. Addiction, that is the physical and psychological dependency upon a chemical substance, is not a crime. Men who have become physically and psychologically dependent upon a chemical substance or not criminals, nor are they broken individuals for becoming addicted. Men are in need of transformation, therapeutic support, and a lifestyle of sustainable changes which leads to sustainable recovery.
At Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, we do not believe that men are broken. You are not broken. You can, however, recover. Men are finding freedom from addiction through our treatment programs by transforming their lives inside and out. For information, call us today: (503) 850-2474