Showing posts from June, 2009

Addiction: Disease or Choice?

This just in - MacLean's Magazine ( - page 19, Charlie Gillis interviews Harvard psycholgist, Gene Heyman on why drug or alcohol addiction is not a disease, but a matter of choice.
Heyman's findings are not really so earth shattering as we might think at first glance. I find it interesting that he began by reviewing existing research and just looked at it from a new perspective - with fresh eyes so to speak. He says in the interview that his initial goal was to learn how drug use morphed from voluntary behaviour to involuntary, but what he found was that addicted people, "stopped using the drugs... because of family issues, or there was a choice between their children and continued drug use, or they were moving on to an environment where it was disapproved of. In other words, the kinds of things that influence all of our everyday decisions were influencing people ... to stop using."
Heyman says that behavioural disease is marked by compulsivity,…