Many,way too many people are ignorant to what addiction is and what that means for the person who suffers from it. I have heard it all, “why don’t you stop?” “You’re just weak willed” “It is your decision so just stop!” If only it were that easy! Well lets go ahead a clear a few things up. According to the DSM-IV, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders this is the Criteria for Substance Dependence…
A. A Pattern of Compulsive Use marked by a loss of control over the ability to regulate use or to abstain.
B. Tolerance marked by both the need for larger amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effect and a diminished perceived effect with the same amount.
C. Withdrawal marked by the development of a specific withdrawal syndrome upon the cessation of use or the use of the same or similar type of drug to relieve or avoid the withdrawal syndrome.
D. Substance-induced Organic Mental Disorders that result from the toxic effects of chronic alcohol and drug poisoning to the brain.
DSM IV places a heavy weighting upon the pattern of compulsive use as the primary factor distinguishing between abuse and dependence. This pattern of compulsive use is marked by the following signs and symptoms:
1. Craving: A strong desire to use the substance.
2. Loss of control over use: The tendency to use larger quantities of the substance than intended and to use the substance for longer periods of time than intended.
3. Inability to abstain: The persistent desire to cut down or control accompanied by the failure to be able to so in spite of past attempts.
4. Addiction Centered Lifestyle: The increased amount of time spent in seeking and using alcohol and other drugs resulting in the centering of major life activities around alcohol and drug use.
5. Addictive Lifestyle Losses: The tendency to give up or reduce the frequency of involvement in important life activities to accommodate the increased amount of time spent in drug seeking and using.
6. Continued Use In spite of Problems The tendency to continue to use alcohol and drugs in spite of problems.
According to what Psychiatrists use for Diagnosing then it would be appropriate to say that Alcoholics and Addicts who meet this criteria of Substance Dependance do in fact have a disease.
If it’s a disease then why do people treat it as though that person is a moral defect? This comes from what society as a whole is made to believe or conditioned to believe. If we hear that someone was arrested and charged with a crime we almost always view that person as guilty before the trial even begins. It seems that we as a society like to see others struggle and fail. Our whole society is insecure and very prideful.
Just like in the trial situation most people get some sick satisfaction in having the opportunity to judge others. Thats just the way that we are conditioned to be. I myself have been guilty of this over and over again.
Another point to think about is something that was discussed in the big book of A.A. Some of the more common disease‘s that people suffer from are Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer. So let me ask you this…How would you like to go down to the Childrens Hospital and ask some children who are dying of cancer to just stop having cancer? I mean, don’t they see thats its slowly killing them? Why would anyone want to have Cancer? Sounds ridiculous because it is!
This is the dilemma facing addicts and alcoholics. Why can’t we just stop? Don’t we see that its slowly killing us? The truth is if it were that easy we would be cured. This disease centers in the brain, therefore we must change our thinking to gain some kind of defense.
One of the reasons I have such faith in God is the scientific evidence for God. First the Big Bang theory shows that something miraculous happened at the dawn of creation. This theory holds up to this day and is without a doubt the accepted way the Universe was born. Also, everything is so fine tuned in the universe to be able to support life that if one minute thing were changed at about 1 part in 10 followed by 60 zeros life would not exist. Thats hard to comprehend isn’t it? Also, nano- biologists, basically people that build molecules, are completely blown away by what they are finding out. As they get down to that incredibly simple single cell they are seeing what they have begun to call “Gods Fingerprint” There is simply no way that it sprang up out of nothing.
Evolutionists are a dying breed. Darwin himself admitted it wasn’t true. The evidence for God is overwhelming. If God can cause the Big Bang and create the Universe, it is a small feat for him to restore the addict and save us from this disease. Faith is a gift and because of that gift, life gets a whole lot easier to handle. God will save you.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.