Addiction Is A Problem Of Addiction

791 Words4 Pages
In 2010, an estimated 23.5 million Americans were addicted to alcohol and/or drugs and needed treatment or supportive services (Partnership for drug free kids). Most people make the assumption that those that are addicted to a substance are just making poor choices. I will have to admit that I was one of those people that thought that it should be easy to quit something so toxic. It wasn 't until I did the research myself that I found addiction is actually a disease. It takes a lot more then willpower to just stop using something that a person 's brain has become so accustomed to. With all of the advances in science we now have a better idea of what leads to addiction. This doesn 't mean that poor choices and life decisions don 't attribute to addiction, but these causes increase the likelihood of an individual becoming addicted to a substance. The majority of individuals that abuse drugs or alcohol will admit to having a history of childhood trauma, alcoholics in the family, or drug use in their social circle. Genetics predispose an individual to having an increased chance of becoming codependent upon drugs or alcohol. Studies of twins and of families that are prone to addiction suggest that about 50% of the risk for drug addiction is genetically based (EBSCOhost). One well-characterized relationship between genes and alcoholism is the result of variation in the liver enzymes that metabolize alcohol (NIH). The result of the liver breaking down the alcohol faster is a higher tolerance. Individuals with a higher tolerance to alcohol, need to drink more than the average person in order to seek the same biological effect. When heavy drinkers suddenly stop or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption, the neurotransmitters prev... ... middle of paper ... ...ome developing some of the same habits in their own households. Drugs and alcohol can be used as emotional crutches in these types of situations, and develop into addiction. Childhood Trauma and Mental Illnesses are directly correlated to both addiction, and each other. Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions, or disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior ("Mental Illness"). Mental disorders are commonly left untreated for long periods of time because of the stigma our society has placed on mental issues. This forces individuals with mental illness to self-medication, frequently resulting in addictive behaviors. Persons with mental disorders seek ways to ease their discomfort and suffering. Marijuana can be used to treat an individuals depression or to ease pain. Stimulants can be used to get an otherwise lazy person motivated.
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