In simple terms, the choice model of addiction contradicts the “disease” approach employed in 12 step treatment by stating that each individual is able to choose whether he or she uses drugs. Whilst some advocates of the 12 step approach will concede that drug use is initially a choice which then develops into a brain disease, supporters of the choice model refuse to accept that a disease has anything to do with addiction at all. They believe that choices were made to start using drugs, and therefore that choices can be made to stop. The debate between these two camps has raged for decades, and shows no signs of abating.
NOTE: Sunrise Detox supports the disease model, but believes the important thing is recovery, not arguments.