The Disease Model Lie

The disease model lie is one of two primary reasons addicts and alcoholics do not recover. It is the same for other self-created maladies such as obesity, gambling, sex addiction and on and on. Drugs and alcohol do not crawl up your chest and put themselves inside your mouth. Similarly, food does not shove itself down your throat, the casino dice do not roll themselves, and the body does not pleasure itself to orgasm without the mind first indulging in fantasy. You do not wake up one morning and suddenly you are a full fledged crackhead, heroin addict or alcoholic. Similarly, you do not wake up one day and suddenly weigh 400 pounds, or wake up bankrupt, or wake up ridden with a nice basket of STDs. You have to put considerable voluntary effort into becoming an addict or an alcoholic. You have to consciously mutate yourself into an addict by using drugs or drinking alcohol over and over and over again. Hence the disease model is a fallacy. You do not catch the disease of addiction. You are not a victim of addiction. You have victimized and destroyed yourself. You have turned yourself into an addict.

The tragedy of the disease model is that it perpetuates the false mindset that allows you to explain, validate and justify your addiction – that it is anything but your own fault. Everyday therapists do the addict a disservice by trying to explain why the addict uses. He or she, with the help of the delusional addict, concocts reasons out of thin air as to why they use drugs or drink alcohol, and worse, why they are even justified in using drugs. I was told it was because of my withdrawn father, my mother, my crazy babysitters, this trigger, that trigger… anything but my own conscious desire to ply my body with pleasure and my own conscious choice to do so. Such reasons or triggers are nothing but excuses, and what they do is excuse the addict of all personal responsibility in becoming a broken, addicted, out of control person. They also eliminate any moral consideration whatsoever.

So now you have an addict who believes they did not give themselves addiction, blames anything and anybody but themselves, and believes they have a lifelong disease and must be treated and coddled like some sort of victim, let alone given more drugs to be okay because they are too weak and stupid to heal themselves. That is all 100% bullshit. I have even heard the absurd notion that addicts are born without enough opiate receptors or dopamine and thus giving them opiates to satisfy the shortfall is the right thing to do. In other words, many today believe that opiate addiction is an organic biological condition that must be treated with synthetic heroin. The world has gone insane.

To adopt the disease model is to ignore the very nature of addiction – that addiction results not from some sudden onset of a disease, but is rather a symptom of the person we are and have become, a person who refuses to grow up and face the reality of human life like an adult. The addict is simply a child who desires a life of comfort, even if that comes at the expense of their selves and others. Children grow up and realize that life is not an exercise in feeling good all of the time. Human life is made up of peaks and valleys, and while it may not always feel comfortable, most sane adults continue to do what they have to do without getting jammed out of their skulls first thing in the morning. We do not have a drug problem. We have a comfort problem. We have a life problem. We have a purpose problem. We have a spiritual problem. When and if the addict can understand that they are spiritually ill, they can then open themselves to the solution and newfound purpose of right action, following a long run of wrong action. To conquer anything, we must counter that thing with the opposite action. If I have been living selfishly and hurting others, I must begin to live unselfishly and help others.

Very serious addicts do not recover without spiritual help. It is pure logic that if our problem is a spiritual one, then so must be our solution. It is also a much more humble approach and attitude to take, and quite frankly, the lack of humility and self worship is what keeps addicts so ill. To show some humility and deference to your Creator is to heal. And when asked but why God? Well, why not? You have tried a myriad of other so called solutions and failed, so why not try relying on God? You clearly cannot navigate this world and this human life successfully on your own, driven by self-will, so what have you got to lose? As well, God gives us a moral imperative not to use drugs or drink again. If I now care about the consequences of my actions, I will not relapse. If I have no conscience, what incentive do I have not to use or drink? When the addict begins to care about the consequences of his or her actions more than plying his or herself with pleasure 24/7 at the expense of everyone else in their lives, they have solved their problem. We do this by putting our relationship with God first. And when you begin to care about your relationship with God and your spiritual well-being above all else, you have solved your drug problem.

It is simple once you understand what is going on. If you do not, you will lash out at those who are recovered and who have a solution to offer his brothers and sisters. Vitriol and the need to disprove others, preach and smear is an indication that you do not really believe what you are saying and/or that your approach continues to fail you or those you are trying to help. If you are honest with yourself and your current results, you will see the truth, and the truth will set you free.

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