Why addiction is not a disease: the liberal case

Apart from being scientifically baseless, the disease model undermines hope, fails to end stigma and doesn’t always get addicts the help they need
The Guardian (UK)
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

addictIs addiction a disease? Most people think so. The idea has become entrenched in our news media, our treatment facilities, our courts, and in the hearts and minds of addicts themselves. It’s a potent concept: If you’re an alcoholic or a drug addict, then you’re ill. And you’re going to remain ill. According to Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease,” and that definition has been adopted by medical researchers and policy makers everywhere. Recently, the supremacy of the disease model was highlighted by an article in The New England Journal of Medicine.