Essay about Substance Abuse Is A Brain Disease

Essay about Substance Abuse Is A Brain Disease

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Much has been said about whether or not Drug Addiction is a Brain Disease! In order to understand Addiction, we need to define Substance Use, Misuse and Abuse and Dependence and Disease. Substance use is occasional recreational use of a psychoactive substance. Misuse is when use has become regular and problems begin to exist. Abuse is when the misuse is more than non-use. Dependence is when the physical body begins to suffer withdraw symptoms when the drug is not used. Multiple theories exist as to what causes Addiction from the withdrawal, behavioral and psychological theories but the Substance Abuse and Disease model is most used today. Treatment is also a consideration when discussing Addiction and Disease which consist of Detoxification through rehab centers which consist of eliminating the drug from the body for a period of time, Controlled use which is the idea that substance abusers may be able to use substances under control to total Abstinence which is no alcohol or drug use at all, as solutions to this deadly problem. I will show how Substance Dependence is a Brain Disease.
A Neuroscientist named Mark Lewis, Phd who authored a book by the name of “The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is not a Disease” argues against the Disease Theory stating that “it is a behavioral problem, not a medical affliction”. Mark Lewis believes that “the disease theory, and the science sometimes used to support it, fail to take into account the plasticity of the human brain. Of course, “the brain changes with addiction,” he writes. “But the way it changes has to do with learning and development — not disease.” All significant and repeated experiences change the brain; adaptability and habit are the brain’s secret weapons. The changes wroug...


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...l of Mental Disorders) recognizes Substance abuse as a mental illness and mental illness are disorders that affect the brain and behavior. The DSM describes ten separate diagnoses for each class of drug (e.g. alcohol, sedatives, cannabis, stimulants, tobacco, hallucinogens, opioids). It also uses characteristics from Mild, Moderate to Severe. Mild is for two or there symptoms and moderate for four to five and severe if the user exhibits six or more. Nine of the eleven describes behaviors such as taking more of the substance than was intended or giving up other important activities because of substance use. This again points out that these substance-use disorders are primarily seen as behavioral in nature, with tolerance and physical dependence being less important. Substance use is a disorder that one day will be eradicated through drugs, behavior and even surgery.

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