Is addiction unproven by science?

Painkiller Overdose Among Women

Alcohol and drug use are learned behaviors. While there are numerous treatment programs that advocate that people who use alcohol and drugs excessively cross a line wherein they develop an incurable disease called addiction, there is no actual science showing that such a disease exists. People use drugs and alcohol because they want to use them and until they want to stop, they will not stop.

Traditional treatment programs such as 12 step programs, tell their members that it is not their fault that they use alcohol and drugs because they were born that way: it is in their genes. 12 step programs and other rehab treatments, promote that the individual cannot control the fact that they use drugs and alcohol because they have a brain disease called addiction for which there is no cure. They require their members to attend group meetings, therapy and counseling and insist that the only effective treatment is belief in a higher power, abstinence and lifelong therapy. 12 step programs use labels, manipulation and judgment as methods of control over their members, but are their practices backed by science? Is addiction really a disease, or is addiction unproven by science?

Traditional treatment programs promote that for addicts, alcohol and drug use is impossible to stop, but that is not true. You don’t use drugs and alcohol because you inherited a gene from your parents; you use drugs and alcohol because you made the decision to use them. Drugs and alcohol give you an elated sense of euphoria and so you associate those feelings with drug and alcohol use and with frequent use, it can become a habit. Although excessive substance use may result in changes in the brain, recent advances in neuroscience have shown that the brain can fix itself, and learn to associate other habits and behaviors with pleasure.

Addiction, or habitual behavior, is developed by a repetitive choice to use and further supported by thoughts and behaviors. Making the decision to stop using drugs and alcohol, followed by building more productive habits and behaviors can and does break the cycle of addiction. This is exactly what The St. Jude Program helps people to do in their own lives.

St. Jude Retreats offers a non-treatment approach to overcome drug and alcohol problems.. We are not a 12 step program and we do not use replacement drugs for substance use. St. Jude’s does not label people or judge them. We do not use the word addiction to identify the problem, because in our culture it is synonymous with being powerless and diseased. The truth is you have the power to stop using drugs and alcohol any time you want. You are not a victim and you are not helpless.

We teach people, many of whom have lost all hope, how they can gain confidence and take control of their life. We help people to take responsibility and to be accountable for their choices so they can implement positive change. The St. Jude Program is backed by decades of research. For more than 20 years we have been helping individuals overcome their alcohol and drug use.

If you are ready to change call us today.