The Pros And Cons Of Addiction

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Nearly 23 million Americans—almost one in 10—are addicted to alcohol or other drugs (How Addiction). The first assumption that comes to most people's minds when they think of an addict is addiction was their choice. Regrettably, I, too, made the assumption that addiction was a choice until an addict was not just a word to me any longer. An addict was a familiar face I loved with all my heart. I could not comprehend why this person, who I love and would do anything for, would preferably get high than love me back. This is when I came to the realization, an addict is not just a simple noun you can use to classify all of these complex individuals. These individuals are someone's son or daughter, someone's mother or father, someone's brother or…show more content…
Because addiction has an inherited component, it often runs in families. Similar to a disease such as diabetes or heart disease, addiction can be inherited through genetics. Studies show about 40 to 60 percent of susceptibility to addiction is hereditary (Genes and Addiction). Like other diseases, addiction vulnerability is a complex trait. The University of Utah has done several experiments on mice to pinpoint genes that play a role in addiction. They found the A1 allele of the dopamine receptor gene DRD2 is more common in people addicted to alcohol or cocaine (Genes and Addiction). Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which helps control the pleasure center of the brain. Dopamine is also what releases and ultimately causes the addict to feel the sensation of the high. DRD2 is the gene that mutates and leads to the individual becoming susceptible to addiction (Genes and Addiction). A mutation in a gene is one of the ways other diseases transmit through genetics, which is one of the reasons why addiction is considered a disease. If someone is diagnosed with one of the other diseases passed on genetically, the individual would not have been blamed for the contraction of the disease. The individual who contracts the disease of addiction helplessly through genetics should not be blamed
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