While the previous views present ideas that addiction is somehow thrust upon us without our choice (a disease in which we did not ask for, a parent or environment we could not control) the addiction as an immoral or sinful conduct view believes that individuals are free to choose their behaviors.
Furthermore, since we are free agents when we choose to make good decisions and should be rewarded, and when we choose bad decisions we obviously those people would need to be punish.
In this view, addicts are not considered people who have a disease, or are out of control, but rather drunken lushes and bums who need to get a job.
We hear this point of view ever four years, or daily depending on which 24/7 news outlet you listen to, but I bet you didn’t recognize it until now. When a politician, president, or preacher comes out and recommends harsher penalties for those people who choose to do drugs and alcohol they are speaking from the view point that addiction is a freely chosen, immoral or sinful conduct. As if somehow punishment is the cure all for people who choose bad choices.
Does this view have any advantages?
If I am optimistic, two advantages could be argued.
- If addiction is only an immoral or sinful act that those people choose to engage in, then it would make sense that addiction would be able to stop on command if those people chose to quit. This would mean that stopping “Cold Turkey” would work every time.
- If addiction is only a spiritual issue, then the remedy would be a spiritual one. This would lead us to conclude that time spent in prayer, meditation, and reading scriptures alone would lead to a total transformation. I could view this as an advantage because I believe my Creator is much more powerful than I will ever be. However in my experience, spiritual renewal is only part of the recovery puzzle.
Why can’t they just stop?
Don’t they care about me?
These questions are hard to answer if we view addiction only as a immoral or sinful conduct. Addiction is a disease of the entire being and effects us: Biologically, Psychologically, Sociologically, and yes Spiritually.