If you use drugs, you have probably asked yourself: does my son or daughter have my drug addiction gene? For many years the detox and rehab community have argued that drug users have an addiction gene that is passed down from generation to generation and that drug use is a disease that cannot be cured, only treated. Traditional treatment and rehab like 12 step programs promote the discredited theory that you are powerless in your struggle with drug use.
Detox and traditional treatment centers believe that because the brain experiences changes from drug use that makes drug use a disease. However, if a person is diagnosed with brain cancer they cannot choose to stop having brain cancer. They cannot stop the physical changes that occur inside their body nor can they stop the symptoms that come from having the cancer. However, people can stop drug use. So, your son or daughter does not have your drug addiction gene, it is not a transferrable disease, it is not even a disease that people have to live with, because it is not a disease at all: It is a choice that people make to use drugs.
The word "addiction" has become the scapegoat, the excuse, for problem behaviors. If you are at an unhealthy weight, then you have a food addiction. If you play too many video games, then you have a video game addiction. If you shop too much you are a shopaholic...and the list goes on and on. For drug users (and alcohol users as well) the idea of an addiction gene makes it easier to excuse their behavior because they are helpless victims of a disease. People who use drugs are given a pass because they have a disease. Shifting responsibility by drug users for their own behavior to an ancestor appeals to people. The good news is that no one suffers from an addiction gene. This means that your future is in your hands and that of your children is in their hands. People are not fated to addiction.
Accepting that you have a drug use problem and then making the decision to do something about it are major steps in taking back control of your life. You need a program that can help you make the changes to your life that keep you from returning to drug use.Twelve step programs are based on the erroneous idea that drug use is a disease. Not surprisingly, they have the very low success rate of only about five percent after one year -- that is only one of every twenty people. The U.S. food and Drug Administration (FDA) would never approve a medication or treatment with such a dismal success rate.
The non-profit, non-religious Freedom Model Retreats provide a non-treatment program. St. Jude does not accept the idea of group therapy, endless meetings and life time counseling. Rather, the Freedom Model Program uses cognitive behavior education to teach its guests how to use self-assessment and self-change to reevaluate the choices they make and the behaviors they practice. They learn how to change those for more productive and positive choices and behaviors. They become empowered and learn how to lead happy lives permanently without drug use.