Neither alcoholism nor substance (drug) abuse is a disease. In recent years, it has become a popular theory that both are diseases and the addict himself is ‘sick’ with addiction. This line of thought gives the alcoholic/addict an easy out—they can’t help their drinking or using drugs because they are sick.
The truth is both alcohol and drugs are addictive; the user wants and needs more and more of his abused substance. Both actually do affect the user’s brain, but it is not a brain disease. When a person becomes ill with a disease, that person can not tell the disease he didn’t want to be sick and cause the disease to go away. The alcoholic/drug addict had a choice. Yes, his body may be so physically dependent, he becomes ill without his substance, but he allowed the dependency to happen, when he said yes to the first drink, or yes, to the first time he used drugs.
Listed below are some facts on alcoholism andprovided by NIDA; the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
- Over one half of all vehicular fatal accidents are caused by a drunk driver.
- Young adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty nine have the highest rate of alcohol and drug addiction; and the leading cause of death and injury among teenagers and young adults is drug and alcohol abuse.
- The reason for 95% of all alcoholics’ death is due to being an alcoholic.
- The alcoholics’ life span is shortened by 26 years.
- One tenth of the people that ever take a drink become an alcoholic.
- The most widely abused psychoactive drug in the world is alcohol.
- Using heroin just one time may cause heroin addiction.
- The children of addicts and alcoholics are four times more likely to become addicts or alcoholics themselves, than the children of non-addicts and non-alcoholics.
- Alcohol tends to attribute to violent behavior that accounts for 60% of child abuse, 52% of rapes, 49% of murders, and 21% of suicides.
- Drug addicts commit 90% of street muggings, as well as 90% of property crimes, such as theft.
- 80% of teenagers have used alcohol before they are 15 years of age; 65% of those have been drunk.
- In the United States, over twenty million people over age 12 use drugs.
- In the United Kingdom, adults age 18 and over receiving treatment for drug addiction were mostly addicted to Heroin.
- Marijuana is the main drug people under 18 receive treatment for in the United Kingdom.
- Kids that are bullied are 11% more likely to take drugs than those who aren’t bullied.
Alcoholism and substance abuse are not just the problem of alcoholics and drug addicts, they are everybody’s problem.