I had a question cross my mind, and I asked Google to help me out. "Hey Google, is addiction legally a disability?"
The answer met my ears in seconds: "Addiction is generally considered a disability because it is an impairment that affects the brain and neurological functions.
Addiction to alcohol and the illegal use of drugs are treated differently under the ADA." (https://adata.org/factsheet/ada-addiction-and-recovery-and-government)
I thought to myself "generally, isn't a very legal term". So I read on...
The information favors alcoholism, and is sternly against illicit substance use besides.
Continued reading of the clauses: An individual fostering a dependency for illicit substances cannot use rights provisioned by the ADA to employ any service in the sectors of
- Legal matters
- Social services
There is one exception, healthcare. A person who is currently dependent on illegal drugs cannot be denied healthcare based on their dependency for illegal drugs.
A person can be discriminated against for a mental health problem, in every area except healthcare.
Doesn't that obligate society to acknowledge that they need mental healthcare, and for the system to facilitate that care to avoid discrimination?
The objective of this legislation was to end discrimination against Americans with disabilities. Any exceptions to this fact seem to undermine the founding objective. Addiction is a disability, as stated within the documentation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A person who is suffering from addiction needs immediate, trauma informed therapy, and treatment. The law points this out as the only option.
I asked this question on every sub I could think of on Reddit, and the best explanation I got was that the ADA specifically exempts people from all but healthcare, so the process of discrimination must also maintain a narrow scope of obligation... This answer is unsatisfactory because the law is written to end discrimination against disabled citizens. Drug addiction is an academically established disability acknowledged by the law itself.
Could anyone give me a rational explanation for this?