Dr. Schaler States Either Everything Is An Addiction Or Nothing Is

Choice-based behaviors include use of alcohol, gambling, Twitter, lip balm and hand sanitizer.

Sep 13, 2011, 07:00 ET from Saint Jude Retreats

AMSTERDAM, N.Y., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In his book, "Addiction is a Choice," Dr. Jeffrey Schaler states, "Addiction is a fine old English word meaning commitment, dedication, devotion, inclination, bent or attachment." Using this definition, addiction can either be positive or negative. Today, the meaning of addiction has been transformed to imply sickness, disease and loss of control.

To de-stigmatize drunkenness, the early founders of the group Alcoholics Anonymous funded research to prove their theory that alcoholism was indeed a legitimate disease. Dr. Carl Jung released findings of his research stating that yes, those who suffered from alcoholism exhibited an inability to moderate behavior. Disease became mainstream and the addiction treatment and drug rehab program industries were born.

Dr. Jung's research has since been shown to be flawed and he has recanted his conclusions. It is uncertain whether Dr. Jung could have foreseen the dramatic results of those erroneous findings. Gambling, internet use, sex, shopping, food, video games, Facebook, Twitter, and even excessive use of lip balm and hand sanitizer have all been classified as addictions. Support groups and drug addiction treatment centers now exist to help people overcome their supposed addiction diseases.

While many people simply accept the notion that drug and alcohol addictions exist, they resist the idea that addictions to other behaviors exist. They cannot have it both ways. Either all behaviors are addictions or nothing is. Choice-based behaviors require conscious planning and action. Whether someone drinks alcohol, ingests crack, overuses prescription medications, gambles, uses lip balm or hand sanitizer; all of these behaviors first require a thought, then a conscious choice and implementation of a plan of action. At any point in time, individuals have the power to stop the process and choose a different path.

About Saint Jude Retreats: Saint Jude Retreats (http://www.soberforever.net) is a drug and alcohol social education center based in New York. It is an effective alternative facility to alcohol addition treatment and drug rehabilitation. Saint Jude Retreats has been helping people overcome alcohol and substance use through Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) since opening its doors in 1992.

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