Addiction, Responsibility and Accountability

The Progression of Moral Deterioration

Addiction is very difficult to categorize. Especially when we see the progression from casual drinking or using to full fledged loss of control. We can see the changes in the person as they start down the slippery slope. Initially they are having fun and we can hold them responsible for their choices. But while they seem to be making their choices the choices are about losing their scruples for the way of life they want. It seems like they are comfortable with the loss of morality they are undergoing. Initially its hiding, then lying then the breaking of promises, the shirking of responsibilities, the uncaring self centeredness, the denial of accountability and worst the abject loss of a moral compass.

People who develop Substance Use Disorder are not criminally inclined. Most have been brought up with a sufficient sense of right and wrong. So where did the desire to get high and continue till there is no control, arise? This is the question even current research is finding difficult to categorize. Zorba Wellness the best destination rehab centre in Mumbai considers the experience of becoming an addict a slow twisting of the character to accommodate the growing need for the high.

As the consumption of substances becomes a lifestyle, the addict gets into a fight with oneself. The family’s apparent lack of understanding becomes the perfect excuse for blame, and reason to continue using. This justifies the lying, hiding, stealing, the irresponsibility and lack of concern for their own and others’ wellbeing.

Is Addiction a Disease or a Moral Failing.

The deterioration of an addict’s personality into an uncaring person gives rise to the judgment society places on them. Weak will and corrupt morals are what they stand accused of. Yet doctors, therapists and recovered addicts themselves know this is not true.

Today in the era of mindfulness, one knows that there is no saying how one would react or what one would do in a situation one has never faced. People depend and trust the goodness of other people so when faced with a compulsion of the sort that addiction generates, how anyone can know what they would do? So the question is whether an addict is responsible for what they do to sustain the addiction? Should they not be held accountable for the damage they do?

Moral and medical models of research treatment tend to polarize both theoretical and popular perspectives on addiction.

The moral model views addiction as a lifestyle choice. Addicts choose a life of alcoholism, drugs and crime and, because they could choose otherwise, are responsible for their drinking/using and related activities, and blameworthy for harm done.

The medical model views addiction as a disease. Addicts suffer from an emotional/cognitive neurological disorder which “hijacks” their brain and compels them to use drugs, removing any possibility of choice and control over their behaviour. They are thus not responsible for what they do or blameworthy for harm done: they need treatment, not judgement. 

Without exception, this argues for a more nuanced view. Choice and control are not all-or-nothing. They come in degrees. The hard questions about addiction are how and why choice and control are impaired in addiction, and to what extent they remain intact. Correspondingly, the hard questions about responsibility concern how and why the extent of choice and control in addiction may excuse addicts from responsibility for harm, and mitigate judgements of blameworthiness. Addiction offers insight into the nature of agency and responsibility, and these in turn should inform our understanding of addiction. 

What is the Balanced Treatment Method

The treatment of Addiction has the necessity of integrating multiple perspectives in order to make progress in our understanding of addiction. Correct treatment is well reflected at Zorbacare drug and alcohol rehab in pune, in the use of a diversity of disciplines, including neuroscience, behavioral science, cognitive psychology, and ethical philosophy. 

Research proves that heavy, sustained drug use has long-term effect on dopamine transmission in brain regions associated with motivation, Addicts “want/crave” drugs, especially when facing their past cues, when addicts dislike or lack pleasure in the substance used, when they know the many good reasons they have for abstaining (risk of relapse, harm to self and others that’s caused); and when the desire to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms has long abated. This offers an explanation both of why addicts continue to use drugs despite sincere promises to stop and why relapse, especially when confronted with drug cues, is always a risk. This theory explains why addiction is compulsive: it is not automatic or habitual behaviour, but, rather, behaviour that is driven directly due to neurobiological changes and so difficult to change or control in spite of preferences and reasons.

What addicts do while under the influence, can often be immoral and extremely harmful. The disease model does not denounce this. And those who say “choice” know it. We are getting lost in the genesis of the behavior as opposed to the action itself.
There is a difference between fault and responsibility. The disease model shifts from faulting the addict to placing the responsibility in their hands to change. If the “disease model” side validated the point that their argument is about “cause” rather than “effect”, and the “choice side” compassionately conceded to the intense realism that “it just is”, we would have a starting point devoid of judgment and the need to be right sharing a common goal: Change.

Accountability and Recovery

 Two elements are essential to addiction recovery: accepting that there is a problem and assuming personal responsibility for overcoming that problem. Holding ourselves accountable means taking responsibility for our actions or decisions, especially in light of a negative event. When we don’t take responsibility for our actions, we are denying there is a problem and blaming someone or something else for the resulting situation.

The Importance of Accountability in Recovery

Recovery begins when the addict takes ownership of their situation and commits to doing what is necessary to change things and move forward. Honesty and accountability build self-esteem, and self-esteem is integral to recovery. It’s through accountability that a recovering addict learns to be honest. Honesty then becomes the stepping stone to a clean life with healthy relationships.

Accountability is one of the main qualities we need in order to live a life of health and total freedom. Having friends, family members, and counselors in our lives who hold us accountable for our actions and thoughts can be extremely useful. This helps us stay on track and keep our focus on the things that matter. For a person in recovery from substance dependence and addiction, what truly matters is an addiction-free life, filled with positivity and health. But, remaining accountable isn’t always easy. It can be very challenging for most people. It’s especially hard during recovery. During a person’s time in treatment, accountability plays a vital role in recovery success. Without accountability, an individual will not be able to, accept guidance, recognize faults and take responsibility for actions. Having accountability in recovery, provides the tools one needs to remain sober during and after drug abuse treatment.

Zorba Wellness, the best rehabilitation centre in India, uses a mix of holistic treatment methods moulded to the clients’ specific needs at a loction of their choice. In this setting we can involve the client to take responsibility in their own recovery at their desired pace with direct accountability only to themselves and their counselors. Most people find this kind of privacy appealing and become willing to own up to the need for change and to act in their self-interest. This atmosphere creates a better implementation of the therapeutic practices and generates long term recovery.

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