One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that, in the field of addictions, there is a huge emphasis on “who’s right and who’s wrong,” and this causes a lot of conflict, anger and even fighting among us. (Perhaps your experience has been similar.)
So what do we disagree on? Without wanting to be facetious, one could say almost everything. From “addiction is a disease” to addiction isn’t a disease. Some people swear by the 12 steps (as the only method of treatment) and just as many who swear at them. There are disagreements about how much choice we have; whether you can deal with several addictions at the same time (part of my reason for starting All Addictions Anonymous); what substances or behaviors are actually addictions; what the differences between addictions and bad habits are; and even, who is an “addict” at all.
When I was in early “recovery”, I would go to 12 step meetings and judge people as being either moderate drinkers, hard drinkers or “real alcoholics”. I took pride in convincing you I was a “real hardcore” alcoholic/addict, saying things like, “You’re not addicted. Let me tell you about being addicted!” and then share my worst (or best) war stories to convince you of how I was different from you. I was making others right or wrong, and separating my patterns of addiction from those of others – and I hurt many people by doing this. Looking back, I see the way I treated some people as being abusive. I could not see it at the time. I was blinded by my arrogance – thinking my way was the only real right way – and if you did not agree, I judged you as being in denile.
From the book Addiction & Choice, by Scott Gallagher