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Sort of like how you were still willing to take a puff of that cigarette, knowing that your family all smokes. Your ability to go to bed that night and not be a raging smoker (while patting yourself on the back for acknowledging that your throat felt scratchy and was therefore the cons outweighted the pros) does NOT mean that you have uncovered and thus now understand the genetic predisposition of addiction, and what it's like to be tempted to stick a toe in the water of substance abuse. Knowing that it causes cancer and that your family all smokes, well, you tried it anyway, didn't you?
Like as in depression, the brain stops being able to feel enjoyment - that is, UNLESS the substance at hand is administered.
Do you mean is it more helpful to understand where you're coming from in the context of this conversation, or is it a more helpful attitude to take with people who are addicts?
I base my insistence that depression and drug addiction are similar based on my understanding of neuro chemistry. Many illegal drugs affect dopamine levels, the chemical that is associated with feelings of reward and pleasure, either increasing dopamine, making it linger or creating a synthetic effect. Chemical addiction physically changes the structure of the brain to a point where events that once made a person happy don't anymore (including the usual doses of drugs, prompting increased use for the same effect). With lower than usual dopamine levels - which may now be crippled for life - a person is subject to a psychological state called anhedonia. Very little feels at all pleasurable. Food that used to be delicious loses its taste, playing around loses its luster, creativity loses its drive...etc. And only annoyances really spark life in a person. I know that feeling all too well. If I never lose another month only feeling alive when I was angry and otherwise expending energy on trying to smile and care about ordinary things, it'll be too soon.
Hence I don't think it's fair to give no weight to the fact that addiction is a disease.