Choice, Chance or Fate? –

May 7, 2018 – Those are contradictory beliefs if you play them out logically, addiction experts say. A person’s early decision to use opioids may have been a choice, they say. But the repeated use of such substances can alter a person’s brain chemistry so that the “choice” becomes hard-wired. Once addicted, stopping the drug can cause aches, sweats, vomiting, diarrhea, depression and extreme agitation, which further reinforce the brain’s new wiring. “There is still a lot of stigma out there and misinformation,” said Dr. Melissa Weimer, medical director of St. Peter’s Health Partners Addiction Recovery Center. “But I am happy to see shifts in how people are seeing addiction as a disease rather than a moral failing.”

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