In the past, words such as abuse and abuser were regularly used in the addiction field. This terminology was rooted in old beliefs and implied that substance addiction was somehow a choice, which is certainly not the case. Few people would choose to have a drug or alcohol addiction that destroys their lives and the lives of their loved ones. The truth is, substance addiction is a medical illness, a disease of the brain. Therefore, the new recommended term will be “substance use disorder,” which is more accurate and appropriate medical terminology.
Whereas the word “choice” is not applicable in terms of the origin of addiction, it is still relevant in the discussion of recovery. Whether to recover from addiction or not is up to the individual. With the correct treatment, in tandem with true commitment on the part of the person, true and lasting recovery is absolutely possible.
Dr. Kimberly Dennis on Jan 07, 2014