The Changing Views about Drug Addiction over the Past Century

The Changing Views about Drug Addiction over the Past Century

Changing Views about Drug Addiction

As society progresses with new knowledge and the ability to conduct thorough research, opinions regarding addiction, addicts, and treatment change.  Due to limited knowledge of the physiological affects that accompany addiction, many people used to believe that addiction could be overcome with willpower, or that only weak or corrupt people became addicts. However, views have changed and our society is starting to understand the scientific nature of addiction and the struggle addicts endure.

How Was Addiction Viewed in the Past?

Due to limited knowledge and lack of research, past views were often extremely critical and judgmental.  Included in the following are some examples on how addiction was viewed in the past:

  • Addiction is a choice
  • Addiction can be overcome through willpower alone
  • Addicts are a burden to society

Addiction used to be viewed as a choice. Although all addicts start with a choice to use for the first few times, once they have become addicted they no longer have the choice to use due to the body and the brain’s craving for the substance. Addiction was also previously viewed as easy to overcome, and many people believed that addicts could just stop using whenever they wanted to. Addicts were also seen as criminals, morally weak, and a burden to society.

How Is Addiction Viewed Today?

Past views differ greatly from today’s view on addiction.  Included in the following are some examples on how addiction is viewed in today’s society:

  • Disease
  • Costly
  • Treatment is essential

Unlike past views, individuals today see addiction as a disease that must be treated and managed throughout an individual’s entire life.  Like other diseases, if left untreated, addiction can progress and cause an individual to experience negative side effects both financially, physically and psychologically. Addiction is also rightly viewed as a costly activity. In addition to the financial burden, the costs of addiction include broken relationships that may or may not be able to be repaired. Unlike in the past, many people today admire individuals who seek treatment for their addiction. Individuals who seek treatment are seen as strong and healthy.

Drug Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is experiencing an addiction to either drugs or alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our highly trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any and all of your addiction questions and help you find the best treatment available. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so call us today!