Addiction is an illness, not a choice

After the tragic death of rap- per Mac Miller Sept. 7, there has been increased discussion regarding drugs and addiction on the Internet. Although toxicology results take weeks to process, authorities say Miller’s death is suspected to be caused by a drug overdose.

Months leading up to his death, Miller’s struggle with drugs became more visible after ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande broke up with him because of his struggle with sobriety.

Since Miller’s death, posts have stated addiction is a choice have popped up all over the Internet. It’s disappointing how many people are uneducated about this topic, and how unsympathetic some people are to victims of drug abuse.

While it is a decision to do drugs, addiction to drugs is a disease.

The Center on Addiction non-profit organization’s website states, “Addiction is a complex disease of the brain and body that involves the compulsive use of one or more substances despite serious health and social consequences.”

No one starts drinking at parties or recreational drug use hoping to bring pain to his or her friends and family.

In a 2016 documentary about the rapper titled “Stop Making Excuses,” Miller spoke out regarding his battle with abusing hard drugs.

“I needed to get a drug that was a little more numbing, if you will,” Miller said in the documentary. “I think that’s what really sparked me doing other drugs because I hate being sober.”

People who are mentally healthy do not want to feel numb. When you are numb you live in a constant fog and not happy and living life.

Miller, like many who feel the need to resort to drugs, was trying to relieve pain and not choosing to be addicted.

People do not realize there are many reasons someone could develop an addiction.

Half the reason drug addiction occurs is because of genetics, and there is no way of knowing for sure if someone has the gene. So, do addicts choose to have the gene that made them susceptible to addiction?

There are various reasons people may be addicted to drugs, whether it is their battle with mental health or a genetic factor over which a person has no control.

Some people have addictive personalities and, unfortunately, there is no sure way to know if you have the trait.

Recognize that addiction is an illness — not a choice — and educate people who believe otherwise.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact the 24-hour toll-free Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP.

About Krista Abrahmsen

Sports Editor

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