I often notice a debate between people who suggest addiction is a choice, and others who suggest that it is a disease. I think that this argument is created by the communication barrier that results from not having enough words to describe human emotions and mental processes.
There is a wide range of things that can go wrong in a person's body to make their lives more difficult, and these things are so vastly different, that to label them all with one word "disease" is doing a disservice to the uniqueness of each of these issues.
In my own life, I have struggled with addiction, but also with depression, anxiety, an eating disorder and cancer, and I know for a fact that these conditions do not all belong under the same umbrella, despite the fact that they are all serious and need to be treated with compassion.
Even when I had cancer and needed to improve my diet, my eating disorder still seemed stronger than my will to live. So when addicts say they don't have control, I wholeheartedly understand where they are coming from.
I think we could make more progress in this conversation by trying to expand our language on this topic to make room for a spectrum of mental and physical issues that deteriorates a person's quality of life. Not where some problems are seen as more important or legitimate than others, but where each issue is treated with the unique care that it deserves.
There are maybe hundreds or thousands of names for parts in a car, but maybe a dozen words to describe what is going on in a person's mind and we wonder why we can never understand one another