We have learned that addiction is an illness, not a moral issue. It is a two-fold disease: A physical allergy coupled with an obsession of the mind. It can be arrested, but never cured. It is similar to diabetes in this respect. Only complete abstinence from the use of drugs or alcohol in any form, including medicine, can arrest this disease. We can no more prevent the addict's use of drugs than we can stop the tubercular's coughing. No one, not even the doctor, nor the clergy, nor the family can do this for him or her.
We have found that compulsive use of drugs does not indicate lack of affection for the family. It is not a matter of love, but of illness. The addict has lost the power of choice in the matter of drugs. Even when he knows what will happen when he takes the first drink, pill or fix, he will do so. This is the insanity we speak of in regard to this illness.
When we fully understand and accept that addiction is a disease, that is both mental and physical, and that we are powerless over it, we become ready to learn a better way to live.
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