Neil Levy's Article: Addiction Is A Brain Disease?

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Addiction Is a Brain Disease According to Leshner, drug addiction is a chronic brain disease that is expressed in the form of compulsive behaviors (Leshner, 2001). He believes that drug addiction is influence by both biological, and behavioral factors, and to solve this addiction problem we need to focus on these same factors. On the other hand, Neil Levy argues that addiction is not a brain disease rather it is a behavioral disorder embedded in social context (Levy, 2013). I believe, drug addiction is a recurring brain disease that can be healed when we alter and eliminate all the factors that are reinforcing drug addiction. It is not uncommon to view drug addiction as a problem that is created and maintained by the drug addicts. Most of…show more content…
However, the article seems to be outdated since it was published more than fifteen years ago. In addition, Leshner seems to have committed red herring fallacy in his work. For example, he begins his article strictly discussing that addiction is a brain disease then he shifts the topic to war on cancer, and that we need to directly address all the vectors, the drug dealers, suppliers, in order to eliminate…show more content…
He argues that addiction is a behavioral disorder caused by the person’s social environment and the lack of resources. Levy believes that, most of the time, an addict does not have services or resources available in order to remove herself from “the environment” where drugs are found constantly. He also stated that most of these addicts are physically unfit since they are poorly nourished, and they are struggling with their own personal stress. Levy, in his article, highlighted that a person’s environment, his health, and the resources he has, play a crucial role in determining whether or not the person will abuse drugs. Levy’s arguments seem to hold a strong position concerning addiction and its causes. However, his arguments seem to contain ambiguous words which can leave readers wandering about the actual definition of the word, and also interrupt their reading. For instance, Levy argues that addiction can be defined as a disease only if it includes pathological deviations from “norms of brain function” (Levy, 2013). He also mentions claims like addiction can lead to some deficits that are “relatively minor”, and addiction can cause impairment only in “certain” social environments (Levy, 2013). These words, norms, minor, certain, can be viewed as ambiguous words since it can have more than one meaning. In addition, Levy, in his article, seems to contradict some of his

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