Ghosts and ghouls, witches and jack o’ lanterns, and all sorts of scary creatures abound; it’s Halloween! These creatures can’t hurt you because they only exist in myth and legend, and in our imaginations. But there are myths and legends that have created monsters that are hurting people today. That is the myth of the disease of addiction.
Can you imagine a disease where you continue to ingest poison against your will? Is there anything so sinister or frightening. The monsters in this scenario are opiates, benzodiazepines, marijuana, psychedelics, amphetamines, alcohol and even various cleaning agents and chemicals. If you ingest one of these monsters, it is said that it will take over your life until it eventually destroys you.
It is believed that even when you fight off these monsters, and go days, weeks, months or years without ingesting them, they are always there waiting for you. They are waiting for you to have a weak moment. They are waiting for you to be “triggered” to come back to them. And then they will take over your life once again.
That is the disease model of addiction in a nutshell. People are powerless while substances are powerful monsters bent on your destruction. And once you become afflicted with the “disease” which can happen to anyone at any time, you are afflicted forever, until the day you die. And if you’re one of the lucky ones, you will not succumb to the monsters’ will and meet an untimely demise.
What makes this even more terrifying and deadly is, it’s completely wrong. The disease theory of addiction has been shown to be invalid in study after study. So why is it still in existence today? Why is every single treatment program in the country based on it? The answer to that is truly frightening; it’s money and control.
The treatment industry is based on the notion that people are damaged, and can be “fixed” by external forces. It’s based on the belief that a class of people known as “addicts” are incapable of managing their own lives. And it is based on the idea that people can be forced to stop doing something they want to do which is to get drunk or high.
What is truly terrifying is none of these beliefs or ideas are supported by research. It is now time to break through the myths and slay the monsters once and for all. People are powerful and substances are not. And most people stop their addictions on their own, with no treatment or meetings; and they move on with their lives.
Remember when you were a child and you saw what you thought was monster in the corner of your room? Then your mom turned on the light and it was just a jacket hanging on a hook. It’s time for the truth to shed light on these monsters, and show addiction for what it really is; a strong preference for a behavior that all people have the power to change.