Addiction is a disease

Photo courtesy WikiMedia Commons.

By Nick Hughes
Opinion Editor

As I Lay Dying is a band that is in flux right now. As someone who has followed the band since they hit mainstream metal fame, I was shocked when I heard that the lead singer of the band, Tim Lambesis, was going to jail. The crime he committed was heinous and, I thought, the sort of thing that someone who is suffering would do. He attempted to hire a hitman to kill his wife. That, to a lot of fans, was shocking.

What shocked me  even more was that he was under the influence of drugs. In this case, steroids were the culprit. Why do I think that Lambesis was suffering through? The answer lies within a hotly debated topic that I wanted to put my two cents into. Is addiction a disease? Lambesis was addicted to steroids and he committed a crime while under that fog of influence. Should he be exonerated of his crime? No, and I think he should still be in jail for what he did. If the hitman he hired did not happen to be an undercover police officer his, now ex-wife would be dead, and their children would have no mother. Fortunately, that did not happen.

II  am using this public issue to look at a larger issue. Would Lambesis have committed this crime if he was not on steroids? That is hard to say, but it is a moot point. Drugs such as steroids cause good people to do bad things. I am aware that it is the person’s choice to use hard drugs, but when they make that choice it is hard to go back.

Hard drugs change a person. They completely changes how the person  acts towards others and how that person behaves in general. They are constantly fighting to get that high again, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. Sure, they made a mistake when they decided to do drugs like that, but what caused them to want to do that? The mind is a great and terrible part of the body. The way humans can morph their minds baffles me, but then I look at my own life and see I am no different from someone addicted to drugs. I am addicted to a lot of various indulgences myself. Let’s look at a smaller one. Sugar and caffeine, for example, are addictive themselves.

How do I know this? I cannot go a day without coffee, and I cannot go more than an hour or two without soda or some other sugary drink. I get to a point where sometimes  all I can think about is my next cup of coffee. This is a socially acceptable form of addiction.

I would like to think that I am better than a person addicted to drugs, but am I really? Drugs change people, yes, but so does a lack of sugar. So does a lack of pretty much anything that we perceive as necessary to live. I am not going to leave my house in the morning unless I have my coffee. Much like Lambesis probably injected himself with steroids that day he ordered a hit on his own wife. Is addiction a disease? Yes, yes it is.