Substance abuse and addiction have become a social problem that afflicts millions of individuals and disrupts the lives of their families and friends. Just one example reveals the extent of the problem: in the United States each year, more women and men die of smoking related lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined (Kola & Kruszynski, 2010). In addition to the personal impact of so much illness and early death, there are dire social costs: huge expenses for medical and social services; millions of hours lost in the workplace; elevated rates of crime associated with illicit drugs; and scores of children who are damaged by their parents’ substance abuse behavior (Lee, 2010). This paper will look at the different theories used in understanding drug abuse and addiction as well as how it can be prevented and treated.
Over 24 million United States residents 12 and older are facing drug addiction, but shockingly only 10 percent will obtain help from an expert facility (“Substance Abuse and Mental Health”). Abuse and addiction negatively effects the addict along with humanity. An estimated $600 billion is spent annually as a result of substance abuse. As surprising as this number may be, it does not explain the depth of damaging public health and safety implications of drug addiction, essentially there may be child abuse, domestic violence, and loss of employment (“Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction”). Addicts face critical health complications, monetary problems, ruined families, illnesses, or even death. As an addict falls further into their addiction, they will lose control of their drug usage, and most times exhibit harm to themselves and others (“Drug Abuse Ruins Lives”). Drug abuse takes a major toll on the addict, their family and on work relationships; on the other hand, there are numerous of people who have dealt with substance abuse overcame their situation and used it as motivation.
Drug addicts lie and steal from their families, lose jobs, and do not live stable lives. Abuse of Prescription medication and marijuana is among one of the greatest concerns in the United States, especially in young people because drugs are causing issues between families, money, etc. Addicts find ways to create different drugs. This is making drug abuse difficult to control and ultimately change. In addition, addiction is not only a physical dependence, but also mental. Drug abuse has various causes, effects, and treatments. Based on the pamphlet, “Another Look,” published by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc., states “If we can find greater agreement on what addiction is not, then perhaps what it is may appear with greater clarity” (3). If people can see drug addiction for what it really is, a sickness, then an addict’s family and friends would better understand that addicts do not choose to become addicted to drugs. Addiction is a routine of compulsive behavior (3). In addition, recovering addicts feel very restricted with freedom because they are afraid of abusing drugs again, but want to be free to do as they please at the same time (3). Addicts have a need to control everything because they fear there will be obstacles in life that they may not be able to handle (3). If addicts can find ways to deal with their problems, they may not use drugs as a way to escape reality. There are many ways for addicts to cope with life, such as, counseling, drug rehabilitation centers, family and friends support.
The first thing we will look at is what drug abuse is. Drug abuse is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance, such as cocaine, or heroin, that can cause pleasure, but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and will start interfering with everyday life, such as school, work, parenting responsibilities, or relationships. Addicts are not generally aware that their own behavior is out of control and are usually oblivious to the problems that they are causing to themselves and to others.(“What is Addiction?” 2014) The longer the addiction and addictive behaviors persist, the worse the person will become, and the more dependent they will become on the drug. The reason it is so hard for an addict to change their ways is because the brain’s chemistry is altered from addiction.
Today, on the other hand, Americans perceive addiction as an illness - an infection that can be dealt with. Alcohol abuse and drug reliance can influence all parts of a person’s life. The long term effects of alcohol and drug usage, both licit and illegal, can cause serious health complications affecting every organ in the body, including the brain. It can also damage emotional and mental stability, finances, careers, and impact family, friends and the entire community in which an alcoholic or drug abuser lives. This type of dysfunctional cycle is passed down from prior generations and the cycle is never
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.
It is not uncommon to view drug addiction as a problem that is created and maintained by the drug addicts. Most of
Many people dislike the term ‘addiction’ in relation to drugs or other substances, particularly as it infers that a person is powerless over their use of a particular drug or in some circumstances, a number of substances. Whilst others maintain it is this powerlessness that is the foundation of diagnosis and treatment – that treatment is not possible without recognition of addiction itself as the ‘problem’ being addressed. The professional and public perception of addiction is complicated. There are many approaches and models to explain addiction, the role of the addict, and their environment. This essay will compare and contrast two of these approaches, the medical/disease and the social model. Initially this essay will describe the origins of each model, and follow by explaining their respective strengths and weaknesses, and finish with an overview of the key differences between them. This essay will conclude by demonstrating that a holistic approach, and a cross-pollination of these models is the most successful approach to treating addicts. As is the case for all diseases, there are multiple treatment options, and as ever person is different, the results in each individual cannot be predicted.
This experience helped me to recognize the internal struggle that a substance abuser faces on a continuous basis. In addition, I know that an individual can have a difficult time changing their behavior even when they have a strong desire to change; the smallest thing can cause a person to relapse.
People never seem to understand each other. Maybe people tend to listen to reply instead of listen to understand. Not just drug addiction but all addictions. I now understand that once they get hooked on the addiction it is hard for them to get off of that addiction. Their body may then depend on it. I now know that addiction can make you do some crazy things but you still had the choice to start. You still had the choice to keep going back over and over again. Before you got addicted you made that choice to start you made that choice to never stop doing it, no matter the reason you still made that choice. After becoming addicted, you are still have your choice to stop. But you choose not to, and you choose to become more and more dependent on what you are addicted
Drug abuse is part of everyday life, most of us know someone who is or was abusing drug at some point. A way to simplify a difficult time in our life, we find an exit in a product that numbs our brain to the surrounding. People find addiction through drugs, activities and action that creates chemical reaction within our bodies. Whether you love jumping off the empire state building or inject yourself with a drug, you are looking for a high that your body enjoys. The body creates chemicals which stop our self-control. According to the CDC website, “Deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.” (Birnbaum HG, web).
So, it is clear that addiction is all around us and can attack anyone of us at any given time. Even studies conducted show that people neglect to speak around their dependency for two primary reasons. Foremost, because people do not comprehend, or they bear a total misconception to their addiction, that they do not realize that addictions can be critical to their overall wellness. Moreover, second, many people believe being an addict will never happen to them, but, in reality, most addictions start off as simple little habits. Such as starting with one drink after dinner and before you know it you are drinking several drinks a day. However, one does not opt to be addicted to a substance, because addictions are physical defects in the brain, a disease, and not one’s choice.
Drugs and abused substances slow down the thinking ability, and the person is unable to judge between right and wrong. Many professionals, flourishing doctors, scientists or intelligent young students, when indulge in substance-abuse, deviate completely from their mission of life and face failure in life because of their drug habit. Some of them end up committing crimes, getting a dangerous disease, losing close relationships etc. They do not realize their true potential, forget their missions, their personal goals and hence, destroy their lives.
Addiction is a habit of activity, in which there is a constant use of mood altering substances with no regard for the unfortunate consequences to the mind, body, and soul. There is no demographic that drug and alcohol addiction does not affect; addiction can happen to anyone at any time. People become addicted to drugs and alcohol for many reasons. Some of these reasons are uncontrollable because you’re born with them; others are brought on by environmental factors and poor self-control. The factors that can lead a person to the enslavement of abuse and dependency range from biological elements, influences from the people you surround yourself with, over-the-counter medications that people get hooked on, and the state of mind of the victim of the abuse. Addiction has been affecting people of all ages since before wide scale research was even conducted.
As a person continues to utilize drugs and alcohol as a means to regulate their affect or cope with problems, they become less capable of self-regulating or problem solving without the drug. This leads to substance abuse, which left unchecked, leads to the disease that is addiction. I have an integrative outlook of how addiction transpires and manifests; this outlook is a hybrid of the psychodynamic and disease models of