As an addict, you find yourself fighting your brain every day. You're fighting to overcome your addiction.

I know there are a lot of people who have absolutely no sympathy for this self-indulgent, narcissistic, behavior. Why can’t you just quit? That’s actually the title of a book . There are others with similar titles. But always the recurring theme is why; why can’t they quit? Why do they destroy their lives and the lives of others around them, who love them, who have tried and tried to stop their escalating descent into hell?

The answer is maddeningly simple … and contrariwise, quite complex. To an addict, asking them to stop doing their drug of choice, whether it be alcohol, other drugs, (I say other drugs because alcohol is a drug) food, sex, gambling is akin to asking them to stop breathing. This is how entrenched the drugs are in their brains.
So if you were doing something that was harmful to your body or mind and spirit, you’d just quit, right? That’s the simple answer. At least it’s simple to those of us who either don’t use drugs or simply use the drugs that are acceptable to society; alcohol, food and sex, the caveat being in moderation.
But moderation is not a word or even a thought that exists in an addict’s mind. They are being controlled daily, hourly, even minute by minute by their brain that has been hijacked by a terrorist of a different name: Addiction.

One look at a PET scan of a so-called “normal” person’s brain and a PET scan of an addicted person’s brain clearly shows a difference – a big difference. The brain is too complex for those of us who are not scientists or researchers to fully grasp the intricacies of that organ.

No matter how an addict became an addict, the fact remains that their brains have been hijacked by an insidious invader. The addict has very few tools to help them wage this war. Addiction is not a moral failing but a true brain disease. Willpower alone won’t cut it.

Not everyone who does drugs will become addicted and for that we should be thankful. But an inordinate amount of them will progress from recreational use to full-blown use and before they themselves are even aware of it, they’ve become addicted; the battle for their lives has begun.

That is the complex answer. And the sad answer. And the futile answer. So whether you belittle the addict or laugh at his or her antics as just another crazy person, I think it behooves all of us to learn more about the disease of addiction, to understand it. To me each addict here is the so-called "Poster boy or girl" for all the millions of addicted people who need understanding, compassion and above all, treatment.