If you have enlisted the help of a program for your excessive drug and alcohol use, you may have been told that your substance use stems from a brain disease. It is natural to want to know, is there a cure for addictions? The answer is pretty simple; you do not need a cure because addiction is not a disease.

While the treatment community wants you to think that drug and alcohol use is an incurable brain disease that stems from you inheriting an alcoholic gene or an addiction gene; the truth is there is no empirical evidence that such a gene exists. Basically, substance users have been convinced that they were born to become alcoholics and drug addicts.

The premise of their argument is that the brain experiences changes when it is subjected to drug and alcohol use, especially repetitive use. However, to compare substance use to a disease such as cancer is clearly absurd. While substance users can choose to stop using substances, and thus make their supposed disease vanish, those diagnosed with cancer cannot wish it away.

Getting help for your alcohol and drug use problems is a positive step toward reclaiming your life but you don’t need a cure and you don’t need lifelong treatment, you need to be given the right information. As you look for a program that can help you take control of your life from drug and alcohol use, it is important for you to consider whether or not the program can help you get to where you want to be.

If the program teaches that you have a lifelong disease and that your situation is hopeless unless you surrender to God or attend meetings for the rest of your life or follow a strict policy of abstinence, then you might want to look at other programs.

12 steps treatment programs and support groups strictly adhere to the addiction disease theory. They use labels, judgments and manipulation to control their members and they embrace an attitude that all their members are hopeless and incapable of overcoming their drug and alcohol use without them. If you are seeking the help of a rehab treatment program that says it incorporates a 12 step program you can be sure they will have these beliefs in their philosophy.

The truth is that addiction is not a disease but a habit and a choice. You can overcome your excessive drug and alcohol use problems. While you may feel powerless or out of control, this is a state of mind created by your thought and behavior habits. Just as you built the habit to use alcohol and drugs, you can build the habit not to use them.  The bottom line is that all substance use is a choice that you make and you can build a life free from substance use problems.

St. Jude Retreats uses cognitive behavioral education to teach guests to make decisions and choices that deliver different results. Our guests go through a process of intensive self evaluation and learn to create habits and behaviors that are positive and enriching, and they go on to have long term success permanently free from substance use.