Drug and Alcohol Addiction

America is currently in an addiction epidemic, especially with opioids. Many people argue that a lack of morals led us to the point, while religious philosophers may say it's caused by sin or karma. Overall, most people alike point to a simple answer, the idea that bad things only happen to bad people. So, does drug and alcohol addiction happen only to "bad" people?

What is a "bad" person? From certain religious standpoints, a bad person may be someone who sins or goes against their God. For instance, in Christianity, some believers in the Bible say that drinking can make you a "bad" person. While in other circumstances, people, such as ethical philosophers, may define a "bad" person as someone who is immoral, such as those who steal, cheat, are selfish, etc.; someone who robs a bank may be viewed as wrong. Though there may be circumstances that can cause someone to show these immoral behaviors, such as their environment or mental illness. A person who stole from a store may not seem as bad after one learns it was to be able to feed his children. In this essay, we will define a "bad" person as someone who intentionally does harm to others.

Secondly, what is an addiction and what is an addict? When you are addicted to a substance, you are both physically and mentally dependent on it. When people typically hear the word drug addict or alcoholic, they get an image in of drug dealers and grown men ranting at the bar. But alcoholics are not just the drunks passed out in alleyways, they are mothers and fathers. Drug addicts are best friends and coworkers. Now in days, the stereotype for addiction does not fit everyone.

Regardless of what you define as a "bad" person, things do not just happen to someone because of how immoral they may be. You do not become dependent on a drug because your ethics did not quite add up to others' expectations. Alcohol and drug addiction can be caused by multiple factors. One of these factors can be the environment around someone. For example, their friends, community, and quality of life can all be an influence on their dependence on a drug. Someone with a family who holds them to a standard of morals, with a job and a good quality of life may be able to handle drugs differently than a person with an abusive spouse. Say someone became addicted to drugs because of their environment. Maybe their poor home life and quality of relationships with family drove them to drugs as a coping mechanism. Though they never intentionally harm someone and are not a "bad" person, they still became a drug addict. One can theorize that possibly if this person had a better relationship with their family and a stable environment around them that they may not have ever become an addict.

Additionally, another factor in addiction can be genetics. Some experts view addiction as a chronic mental illness. Just like you can inherit diseases, addiction can be hereditary. My father is an alcoholic, though a recovered one. Therefore, I am predestined in my genes to struggle with alcoholism, and though I may not be a "bad" person, I can still become an alcoholic. No matter their actions or intents, some people have a predisposition to addiction due to their biology.

In conclusion, Drug and alcohol addiction does not happen to someone because of their morals or actions. There are murderers who are not alcoholics and amazing mothers who struggle with addiction. Rather than addiction occurring because a person is "bad", it happens because of one's genes and the environment. Someone may struggle with these issues because of abuse or it was passed down to them. Regardless of someone's morals or actions, they can still become an addict.


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