My daughter just asked me this question since she has a debate coming up with this topic for her Medical Sociology college class. It got me thinking
; and, I'm curious as to how others in our profession feel about it. By the way, she has been assigned the con position.
Feb 13, '07
I work in an addiction centre and I personally believe that addiction is a chronic mental illness. That being said, I also believe that mental illness is just as important as any "medical" illness. I understand that the person chooses to pick up each drink (or substance) but it becomes a disease as much as the type II diabetes patient who chose to eat McDonald's daily for 30 years. In both cases the focus should be on helping the person cope with their disease and creating a healthy lifestyle. Also in both cases, the patient needs more than medical care to treat their illness. I've yet to meet an addict who used drugs/alcohol because they were happy with their life. Along the same line, I doubt many people eat a bag of chips just because they feel like it. These patients need education and quite often counseling to work out whatever problems initiated the behavior in the first place.
Last edit by SecondGenRN on Feb 13, '07