At Renaissance Ranch Arizona, we prefer to approach addiction through the lens of the disease model, which states that addiction is a disease. By acknowledging the disease status of addiction, we can finally see the current sweep of addiction in certain regions of the world as an epidemic and public health issue. There are a multitude of reasons why the disease model is much more desirable than other methods that have been tried in the past, and why it continues to be the best option that we have today…
Removes shame from the equation
One of the main reasons that the disease model works so well is that it builds a bridge between addicts and the people who can help them by removing the shame that they have so often been dealt. When we view addiction as a fault-based issue, it only serves to alienate people who have a mental disease from the rest of society, which pushes them further into a state of dependency on the substance that is controlling their lives. Removing shame from the equation opens a dialogue where recovery centers and addicts can begin to make real progress.
Allows for tangible recovery process
In the past, when we have treated addicts with disdain, violence, and punishment, there was no real progress being made towards actually stopping the spread of addiction. The disease model of addiction recovery allows us to actually set goals that will make society better, and will treat addicts with a level of dignity that sets them up to succeed. A huge part of the disease model is that it treats addiction like a public health issue, which means that actual tangible goals need to be set up, which allows actual recovery to take place.
Criminalization has had a negative effect
The criminalization of addiction that we have seen over the past century, and especially over the past 25 years, has not actually stopped the spread of addiction. We have seen the rise of multitudes of types of drug use continue to climb, over the years. Even now, we have an addiction epidemic that is tearing communities apart around the country, and causing great pain in the lives of American citizens. The disease model is meant to stop the trend of criminalization, and instead treat addicts like people who need to be helped, medically. This is the foundation to the success of the disease model.