Addiction is a term that has traditionally been used to refer to psychiatric syndrome that is caused by illicit drug use. Actually, addition is the only psychiatric condition whose symptoms are regarded as an illegal activity. In most cases, this term is described on the basis of drug use, which is the main focus of many research and treatment programs. Generally, drug addiction has significant negative effects on individuals using the drug and those around them such as family and friends. Family and friends are usually forced to watch their loved ones wilt away in illicit drug use. While addiction has traditionally been regarded as a psychiatric condition, there are numerous debates that have emerged on whether it’s a disease or merely an immoral act by a selfish individual. My standpoint is that addiction is actually a disease because of the observations I have made on how illicit drug use takes control of the addict. I have watched my brother battle prescription drug addiction and eventually passed away from an overdose at the age of thirty-two years. As a result, I believe that addiction is a disease because it changes the functioning of the addict’s brain. In essence, studies have demonstrated the effects of chemical substances on the brain and how addiction affects feelings, thoughts, and actions.
Drug addiction is a disease of the brain. The initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, however once that decision is made, the decision to become an addict in involuntary. “Addiction affects the brain circuits involved in reward, motivation, memory and inhibitory control. When these circuits are disrupted, so is a person’s capacity to freely choose not to use drugs.” (Addiction Science: From Molecules to Managed Care) Drug addiction and/or abuse is a huge problem in our country today. In order to effectively combat this issue it is important to understand drug addiction; what it is, how it effects people and what our federal government says about it.
How does one define addiction? Is it a conscious choice in which the addict chooses to divulge in drugs, or is it a biological disease in which the addict has no choice in the matter at all and must take drugs as an involuntary necessity? Kent Dunnington tries to solve this discourse by denying the validity of both the disease method and the choice method by introducing a third choice, habit. He explains that addiction is a habit because habit “explains how the will can act consistently and successfully without being worn down by the weight of desire or tripped up by uncoordinated desires because habits qualify and coordinate desires (Dunnington, 61). His definition of habit as the true cause of addiction comes along with a rejection of both
Any comprehensive theory (model) of substance abuse has to answer several difficult questions: What environmental and social factors in an individual’s life cause them to start abusing a drug? What factors cause them to continue? What physiological mechanisms make a drug rewarding? What is addiction, behaviorally and physiologically, and why is it so hard to quit? These questions can be answered in the major theories (models) that are described below using an integrative approach that addresses the problem of substance abuse and addiction as an urgent but elusive goal (Kauffman & Poulin, 1996).
A big challenge that I will face is deciding which side I will take on a big debate in substance abuse counseling. Some people say that addiction is purely physical, while others disagree and believe that addiction is mostly psychological. Those who believe that it is psychological believe that it usually stems from abuse or as Jane Adams (2003) thinks an over dependence on parents. This side also says that addiction is operant conditioning and that cycle has to be broken (Silverman, Roll, & Higgins, 2008, p. 472). The other physical side of addi...
Sally Satel, author of “Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate? Wrong,” leads us down a harrowing path of the causes and effects that lead people to addiction. It can be a choice, possibly subconscious, or a condition that leads a person left fighting a lifelong battle they did not intend to sign up for. Mental and emotional health/conditions, personality traits, attitudes, values, behaviors, choices, and perceived rewards are just a few of the supposed causes of becoming an addict.
The world of addiction is a highly misunderstood realm. The word “addiction” itself is extremely stigmatizing. Many people first think of personal failure and weakness, which is a result of the moral model commonly associated with addictions. However, substance dependence is not a personal weakness. It is a chronic disease suffered by many people across the world. Classifying drug and alcohol addiction as a disease is an exceedingly controversial topic (Murphy, Lynch, Oslin, McKay, & TenHave, 2007). If society is to believe and agree with this classification, they must admit that substance dependence is an illness, a disease, and not a human failing or weakness. Those with substance use disorders in particular need more understanding from the public and more advocates to speak on their behalf without judgment.
Before the DSM-5 was introduced, in May, 2013, by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, different arguments and debates surfaced to the roof related to the definition of addiction and implications. Because the DSM appears to have played with the idea of bringing back the term addiction as a replacement for the term dependence, one of the vast changes to the DSM-5 is the elimination of dependence and the adoption of the new term “substance abuse disorder.” Although the APA and O’Brien (2011) supported the adoption of ‘substance abuse disorder’ as a term because it provided a clear differentiation between the compulsive drug-seeking behaviors of addiction and how people use prescribed drugs naturally as a response to tolerance and withdrawal that affect the central nervous system. However, the DSM-5 has taken a much more vivid position on the topic of abuse vs. dependence. I believe there is always area for enhancement. It appears while the DSM-5 does not state addiction as a term it still goes deeper to the roots into the original indicators linked to the addictiv...
Addiction is a difficult disease that involves several different factors including biological, psychological and sociological aspects. Anderson (1997) states that substance use refers generally to the ingestion of illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, opiates, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, PCP, amphetamines, etc. The use of illicit drugs, such as alcohol and nicotine, are less frequently included in this definition, despite their widespread use and undisputed potential for harm. Substance abuse, however, is a more value-laden term which implies substance use, probably over time, which is somehow detrimental or harmful. Thus, substance use need not constitute substance abuse, although they often coexist. Wormer, Davis (2010) indicates that addiction is often defined as an illness not just of the individual but of the whole family. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that an estimated 22 million Americans age 12 or older suffered from substance dependence or abuse due to alcohol, illicit drugs or both.
Addiction and abuse of drugs have remained an unexplainable circumstance, even till today. A mistaken assumption is that drug abusers lack moral principles, and if given a chance or in the presence of will power, their selections could be altered. In reality, drug addiction is known as a complex disease and requires more than will power or mere good intentions to change. Due to the fact that drug addiction could change the way the brain works, with time, the brain promotes compulsive drug abuse. It is difficult to relent even if one is ready to do so. Drug abuse has negative influences not only in the lives of mortals, but also in the society.