Why Addiction Shouldn’t Be Compared to a Learning Disorder

There are many different life events that can be incredibly challenging and even seemingly impossible to overcome, and drug addiction is definitely one of them. In fact, drug addiction is so complex to understand and successfully resolve that many different explanations have been offered as to why this is so. Some of these explanations include the idea that drug addiction is a genetic disorder that an individual is predisposed to, that drug addiction is a disease an individual can never fully recover from but can only learn to live with, that drug addiction is an individual’s choice and therefore can be resolved when the individual changes his mind, and much more. A newer explanation is that addiction is actually a learning disorder. Unfortunately, not only are none of these explanations actually true, they fail to take an honest look at all the facets of the real problem of addiction and then correctly determine its solution.

The Learning Disorder Argument

Maia Szalavitz has spent the last three decades reporting on neuroscience, drugs, and addiction–following her own struggle with cocaine and heroin addiction. In her most recent publication entitled Unbroken Brain, Szalavitz argues that drug addiction is not so much a disease or sin as it is a learning disorder. Her foundation for this argument is the fact that addiction is a compulsive behavior that an individual participates in despite experiencing negative consequences, or punishment. Szalavitz says that an individual who is involved in addiction is obviously failing to learn from this punishment, which indicates they have a problem with learning.

One of the most obvious problems with the argument that drug addiction is a learning disorder is the fact that a drug addict does not actively choose to ignore the “punishment” they receive from drugs in order to continue taking them. In fact, most drug addicts would be relieved, thrilled even, to wake up one day and not have to take drug substances in order to make it through the day. A drug addict is driven to use drug substances by a body that demands them, and because they quickly learn that their body harshly punishes an absence of drug substances. So in effect, one could say that a drug addict clearly doesn’t have a learning disorder at all, as they have learned that to not take drugs causes them to experience extreme discomfort. Trying to solve their addiction problems by improving their ability to learn will go nowhere as they already know they need to disconnect from drug use, they just don’t know how to do so safely and effectively. What they need, then, is a solution that will allow them to safely and fully disconnect from the stranglehold drugs have over their life, successfully restore their physical, mental and emotional health, and learn the life skills they need to proceed into a drug-free, happy future.

The Narconon Program

While they may not shout it from the rooftops, most drug addicts reach a point where they recognize that drugs are harming their life and they wish they could do something about it. The problem they often encounter at this point, however, is the idea that they can never successfully or fully disconnect from drug use because continued drug use is the only way they can cope with uncomfortable and even painful withdrawal symptoms enough to feel somewhat “normal” in their daily life. They are also often under the impression that drug rehab is a “hit or miss” proposition, and there’s no real guarantee that they will succeed in their recovery attempts. What they need is a program that will help them address each and every cause and effect of drug use, and help them to build the strong foundation they need in order to recognize that drugs are completely unnecessary in the future. This is precisely what the Narconon program does.

Narconon Freedom Center is one of the top drug treatment centers in Michigan, and indeed across the nation, simply because it works. At Narconon, there is no assumption that drug addiction is caused by genetic or learning disorders, disease or some other similar explanation–rather it is understood that addiction is a personal issue that only the individual himself can fully dig into, understand and permanently resolve. Narconon supports and encourages the individual as he addresses the physical, mental, and emotional causes and effects of drug use, and then gains valuable life skills that will help them to guard against turning to drugs or other “wrong” solutions in the future.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug abuse or addiction, the most important thing to do is to get the help needed to thoroughly and permanently end it. Narconon is a premier Michigan drug rehab for good reason–find out why today.

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