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You want to talk science, then what is the actual evidence for the disease hypothesis?
What is the mechanism for disease? We can see mechanisms for diseases like cancer and infections.
The argument seems to be that minor changes can sometimes be seen in the brains of addicts. But that is weak in light of what is known about the brain:
Strokes cause major physical changes to the brain, but people have surprising abilities to recover from relatively severe brain damage. My aunt learned to walk and talk again in her 40s after suffering a major stroke.
Learning also causes physical changes in the brain. Is learning a disease? No, because the brain isn't a machine like the one I am typing on - the brain is not hard-wired, rather it rewires itself as an inherent part of the way it works! The brain is truly amazing in this regard.
So where is the evidence that any addiction-related changes to the brain are: physical, permanent, not able to heal, and the cause of addiction? I don't dispute that drugs can cause physical brain damage, just as drugs can damage other organs, but that does not establish causality of addiction. And there are addictions which are not drug-related.
Empirical evidence indicates that treating addiction as a disease has a poor outcome with very high relapse rate.
Meanwhile, many people are able to beat their addictions on their own by making different choices and adjusting their attitudes towards life.
How many people can beat diseases like cancer or malaria through willpower alone?
A mother plows unsuspectingly into the green fields of addiction rehab.
Traditional rituals may not mix well with modern sensibilities.
What does it mean when we react to Prince’s death by punishing drug providers?
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