David Krout Professor Wycoff
19 July 2011
ADDICTION = DISEASE
Drug addiction knows no boundaries and pulls no punches. It affects people of every age, nationality, and socioeconomic background. It is prevalent in our schools, homes, and places of work. Drug addiction affects not only the addict, but their families, the economy, and society as a whole. It can rip families apart, with one or both parents being led away in handcuffs, their children left with a relative or Child Protective Services. It can steal a son or daughter, leaving behind confused parents who feel guilty, suspecting they could have done more. The cost of drug abuse in America is estimated at $67 billion a year in lost productivity, law enforcement costs, health care, and welfare programs (Disturbing Alcoholism Statistics). Chances are, you have a friend or relative that has struggled or is struggling right now with a drug problem, or perhaps you are or have yourself. Drug addiction tears at the very fabric of our society.
But what exactly is the definition of a drug addict? Some believe that an addict is someone who is morally weak and to blame for causing their condition. Others believe that an addict is a product of their environment; that they were never taught better. Still others believe an addict is a just a weak willed person that cannot control themselves. Oftentimes society attaches a stigma of weakness and immorality to those addicted, giving the addict a feeling of hopelessness and defeat about ever being able to quit. Viewpoints such as these cannot explain the compulsive behaviors of drug addicts and provide no helpful explanations for the friends or loved ones of those addicted or for the addicts themselves. To view addicts as morally inferior is to put limitations on how we try to help them. If addiction is just immoral behavior,...