Premium Essay

Understanding Addiction

In: English and Literature

Submitted By maybe2
Words 1676
Pages 7

The word “addiction” may conjure up an image of a sluggish heroin junkie or an erratic crack head. It could also bring to mind a chain smoker or a staggering drunk. Once reserved to describe the state of clinical dependence on a substance as a result of extended abuse, the concept of addiction is widening and includes activities that seem less obviously harmful at the surface. Addiction may not always be as visible as track marks or as noticeably threatening as a drunk-driving accident. The concept of addiction isn’t just abstract to the layperson. It’s been controversial within the mental health community as well. The most widely-used reference in the medical mental health community, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), is due to be published by the American Psychological Association in its fifth revision in April 2013. Its purpose is to create a common language between practitioners so that diagnoses will be consistent from one clinician to the next (DSM-5 Development). In the book, the word “addiction” was forgone in favor of either “substance dependence” or “substance abuse,” in a very narrow decision. Charles O’Brien, a member of the committee that worked on the revision between DSM-III and DSM-IV, stated that the difference was a single vote. In an editorial published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, O’Brien urged the committee responsible for the changes being made in the fifth revision not to make the same mistake as they made in the 1980s, which he believes has prevented patients from receiving adequate classification and care in that time. This denial, he says, comes as a result of equating “dependence,” which is the normal physiological reactions of tolerance and withdrawal associated with repeated doses of a medication, with the stigma of addiction, especially for those who need…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Understanding Addiction

... whose addictions make them feel exactly the way you do. You don’t even need to talk about it with them –- between you, there is already an understanding. So now you don’t feel like an outsider, you feel like an insider, a member of a secret club. Of course, there is a price to pay. You may put on or lose weight, experience health problems, or lose a lot of money, things, or relationships. But none of that made you feel happy anyway, and, at least for a short time, your addiction does. The more people criticize you, the more you want to seek comfort in that good feeling you get from your addiction. The more others lecture you about what you should be doing with your life, the more convinced you are that they don’t know what they are talking about. Sure, you wish what they were saying was true, but underneath, you know that a normal life was never for you. Except you long for a normal life. You wish that you could take satisfaction in the things that seem to make other people happy, such as graduation, a career, and a family. But to get those things, or to experience them the way you want to, you would have to believe in yourself, and that self belief has always eluded you. Most addicts struggle with a double life. They try to keep their addiction secret from most people, most of the time, even when it is quite obvious to those around them. They have a hard time admitting to themselves that being an addict is a problem because no matter how fleeting, their addiction gives......

Words: 721 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...Abstract Addictions covers a range of maladaptive traits to include substance use, alcohol or behavior leading to significant impairments. There are various causes of addiction, but some theoretical frameworks indicates that addictions may have a genetic component that leads to a predisposition to develop addiction, a disease model of addiction or as the result of self-medicating of a primary disorder. This paper will take a theoretical view of the causes of addiction as well as developing a working definition of addiction. Causes of Addiction There are numerous theories regarding addiction and the causes of addiction; however, for the purpose of this paper we will discuss three areas or models of addiction as it relates to substance and alcohol related abuse. Before delving into the causes of addiction we will develop an understanding of what addiction is and what it is not by viewing a few theories and definitions of addiction. We will also develop an understanding of what constitute a diagnosis of addiction and causes one to develop an addiction in the context of genetic predisposition, disease and the prevalence of addiction among individuals with co-occurring disorders stemming from traumatic experiences such as childhood abuse. Addiction Defining addiction is not a simplistic task as there are many theories and definitions of addiction and how addiction develops. In Drugs and addiction: an Introduction to Epigenetics,......

Words: 1482 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Marketing Structures

...UNDERSTANDING DRUG ADDICTION Chartorieah Shinez Sanders COM/156 03/26/2012 Nicholas Delzotto Understanding Drug Addiction All over the world, people are losing their loved ones to a mind altering disease called drug addiction. If something isn’t done; the disease will continue to grow, destroy happy homes and take more young lives. Drug addiction is a severe illness that people should be taught to avoid the continuing overwhelming of the nation. First you should learn what the disease is, who is affected, what causes the disease and how we can help those that are suffering from this disease. Drug addiction has been described as a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use (What is Drug Addiction?, Section para.3). Yes, it is true that individuals have the option to refuse these mind altering substances that cause addiction and other health risks but there are several risk factors that could influence the individuals decision such as, a person’s biology but that problem drinking and problem drug use are not caused exclusively by biologic traits says Christopher Freed (2010). While biology is not completely the cause of drug addiction, some people were born into a family that has a history of drug addiction and if you combine that with peer pressure or, the feeling of wanting to fit in; your outcome will be another individual who uses or is addicted to drugs. This is one of the biggest influences on many teenagers and......

Words: 975 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Drug Addiction a Disease by Choice

...Drug Addiction a Disease by Choice “Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a dependence on a legal or illegal drug or medication. Keep in mind that alcohol and nicotine are legal substances, but are also considered drugs.” (Mayo Clinic, “Drug Addiction” 2014, para.1). There needs to be an understanding that addiction is a disease. “When scientists began to study addictive behavior in the 1930s, people addicted to drugs were thought to be morally flawed and lacking willpower”. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction” 2014, para.1). This formed society’s reaction to drug abuse, treating it as a choice not a disease. In today’s world scientist have changed our views on addiction. The findings about the brain have given scientists an understanding on addiction. The initial choice to try drugs is intentional for most people, but overtime the brain changes and a person’s self-control hinder their ability to resist impulses to use drugs. “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences” (National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Drugs Abuse, and Addiction” 2014, para.1). Drugs change the brains structure and how it works. Drugs contain different chemicals that interfere with communication in the brain; such as sending, receiving and processing information. Drugs such as marijuana have similar chemicals as messengers in the brain...

Words: 969 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Addiction and Grace

...Gayed PPSY 511 Addiction Assessment and Interventions 2-18-16 Addiction and Grace Paper \ Addiction and Grace Paper Addiction and Grace by Dr. Gerald May, was an extremely insightful and helpful resource in understanding those who struggle with addiction, the nature of addiction itself and the healing process. I realized through my reading that addiction is a broader issue that involves a range of behaviors far beyond alcohol and drugs to include work, sex, performance, responsibility, and intimacy. According to Dr. May (1991), “We are all addicts in every sense of the word” (p.4). As a future therapist this opened my eyes to how addiction is a universal problem and how forces of attachment to anything can bring suffering and agony. Reading Addiction and Grace had helped me understand addicts and their behavior better; I am more knowledgeable of the psychological, neurological and physiological nature of addiction, as well as learning about the important elements in the healing process. I had little knowledge previous to reading this book about what addicts are really like. Especially going into this field of therapy, I had little perception about addicts’ personality, behavior and mind. One interesting thought I learned about addicts is that chemical addictions do not occur due to preexisting personality defects and that addictive personality is a myth. According to Dr. May, “symptoms of addictive personality were caused by addiction, not the cause......

Words: 1324 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Term Paper Hum

...develops mutual understanding. Active listening is process in which the listener paraphrases in its own words what the speaker had said to confirm or clarify of accuracy of the message. “Active listening involves listening with your head and your heart; that is, you listen to the content of the message but also the feelings behind the message. The skill of active listening involves paying attention with empathy to the listener, as opposed to distracted denying, cynical or ostrich behavior. (Hogan, 2000) Children and adults with autism, as well as those with other developmental disabilities, may have a dysfunctional sensory system. Sometimes one or more senses are either over- or under-reactive to stimulation. Such sensory problems may be the underlying reason for such behaviors as rocking, spinning, and hand-flapping. Although the receptors for the senses are located in the peripheral nervous system (which includes everything but the brain and spinal cord), it is believed that the problem stems from neurological dysfunction in the central nervous system the brain. As described by individuals with autism, sensory integration techniques, such as pressure-touch can facilitate attention and awareness, and reduce overall arousal. Temple Grandin, in her descriptive book, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, relates the distress and relief of her sensory experiences. The nature vs nurture debate is a major source of argument between different approaches to understanding human......

Words: 571 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Drug Addiction

...Drug addiction is most often defined as a chronically relapsing disorder in which the addict experiences uncontrollable compulsion to take drugs, while simultaneously the repertoire of behaviors not related to drug seeking, taking, and recovery, declines dramatically."(1) Recent scientific research has shown significant causal relationships between drug addiction and genetic predisposition as well as between addiction and environmental factors. Both genetics and the environment influence the brain, which in turn effects the behavior of usage. Once an individual begins using psychotropic substances, such as cocaine or heroin, measurable changes in brain chemistry and physiology perpetuate the cycle of addiction. Thus, we have an example of brain affecting behavior, which in turn, affects the brain. This cycle is particularly extreme and insular in the situation of drug addiction where free will and decision making are quickly and severely impaired. In this paper, we will first explore the genetic and environmental theories on drug addiction. We will then investigate how the behavior of drug addiction changes the brain to perpetuate the circle of cause and effect between the brain and behavior. Genetic Influences on the Behavior of Drug Addiction: Addiction does not result from a single gene. However, multiple genetic trends have been identified as crucial contributors to the illness of addiction. Alcoholics and cocaine addicts often express the A1 allele of the dopamine......

Words: 1137 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Position Paper: Should Society View Addiction as a Disease?

...society view addiction as a disease? Drug addiction is a significant problem in today’s society yet it also seems to be debatable as to whether society should view drug addiction as a disease or choice. Drug addiction continues to grow and affects a diverse population which includes much younger age groups. It must be noted that drug addiction is a voluntary choice; whereas disease is not, despite whether a disease is deemed mental and/or physical in nature. Frankly, whether society views addiction as a disease or choice, it is a problem and a controversial issue. The definition of drug addiction, according the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is: “the quality or state of being addicted <addiction to reading>, compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.”(“Addiction” n.d.) Numerous government and other science researchers continue to study drug addiction while addressing whether addiction is a choice or a disease. There is significantly more information that states addiction is a choice. Drug addiction may be the underlying cause of a disease. However, despite whether addiction may result in disease, addiction is a choice and it is a subject of major study and may reflect how addiction is viewed. “Scientifically, the contention that addiction is a......

Words: 800 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Disease of Drug Addiction

...The Disease of Drug Addiction Joanne Frye HSER 340 Abstract Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive seeking and use of addictive substances despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Introduction Dramatic advances in science over the past 20 years have shown that drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disease that results from the prolonged effects of drugs on the brain. (Leshner, 1997) It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain structure and how the brain works. (Volkow and Schelbert, 2007) As with many other brain diseases, addiction has embedded behavioral and social-context aspects that are important parts of the disorder itself. Therefore, the most effective treatment approaches will include biological, behavioral, and social-context components. Recognizing addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use can impact society’s overall health and social policy strategies and help diminish the health and social costs associated with drug abuse and addiction (Leshner, 1997). Addiction as a Disease For decades, the orthodox view in neuroscience and psychiatry has been that addiction is a psychiatric disease (Jellinek, 1960). In 1968 it was included in the second revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, positioning it explicitly as a mental illness for the purpose diagnosis and......

Words: 1701 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Phobias and Addictions

...Phobias and Addictions Camille Sere' PSY/300 October 2, 2012 Shari Tumlin Phobias and Addictions In this paper I will be discussing phobias and addictions in relation to classical and operant conditioning. I will research and explore how phobias can be developed through classical conditioning, and how addictions can be developed through operant conditioning. I will also explain what extinction means in psychology and how it is achieved in both classical and operant conditioning. The first thing you need to know is what exactly a phobia is. A phobia is an uncontrollable fear of an object or situation that is unreasonable and can develop in many ways; one of these ways is through conditioning. People have fears all the time, but a phobia affects a person’s daily life. Phobias for some people make it to where they become reclusive, or they cannot leave the comfort of their own homes, or their safe place. There are two main types or categories of phobias; they are specific phobias and social phobias. A specific phobia is an uncontrollable fear of a specific thing or a specific stimulus. There are animal phobias where a person is afraid of a certain animal or insect, for example the fear of spiders is called arachnophobia. There are environmental phobias like a fear of storms or heights. There are phobias of medical procedures as well as situational phobias like small spaces or flying. A social phobia is an uncontrollable fear of a particular situation such as......

Words: 849 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Tech Addiction Summary

...Technology Addiction: Applied to Online Auction Users The “MIS Quarterly” magazine article titled; “Integrating Technology Addiction and Use: An Empirical Investigation of Online Auction Users,” explores the relatively new phenomena of technology addiction. The article starts out by laying down a thick foundation of previously known information that was taken into account during the study that they performed. This information introduces the reader to the Technology acceptance model (TAM) which is important in this study because it can help to define and explain how technology usefulness and ease of use influence system usage. This understanding of how and why systems are used is then necessary to find a point at which they are overused and addiction is present. Then the article goes on to define Technology Addiction, which has not previously been defined, as a psychological state of maladaptive dependency on the use of a technology to such a degree that would fall under “normal” addiction levels; some of these addiction measures are salience, withdrawal, and tolerance. The purpose of this study as defined by the article is to examine whether or not users’ levels of addiction, to online auction websites (in this case Ebay), influence their need to use information technologies by distorting various perceptions. The reason this study focuses primarily on online auctions is because trying to conduct a study on technology as a mass would be way to overwhelming and instead it......

Words: 622 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Is Drug Addition a Choice or a Diease

... 11/10/14 Sociology of Addiction Position Paper Is Drug Addiction a Disease/Choice? People argue whether drug addiction is a disease or a choice. Today, I will be discussing this argument in hopes to have a better understanding as to why this topic is so controversial. Throughout my research, I easily found information on this topic and I am still not sure I have found any answers. Addiction can be defined as a behaviour that creates physical and psychological pleasure. However, this is where the cost to the individual visibly outweighs the benefits. Only psychoactive drugs that affect the brains pleasure zones will resort to dependence of substances. These substances include anything from alcohol and nicotine, to a variety of legal and illegal drugs. Even though there is a large amount of information on substance use for individuals there is not one individual theory that is singled out in regards to addiction. The definition from the dictionary describes addiction as a condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with, or involved in something. Addiction itself can be defined as unmanageable, compulsive and an act that is carried out even when it threatens the individuals health and wellbeing or the potential harmful social consequences it could pose. The biggest argument is that addiction is a choice not a disease. For those on the other......

Words: 985 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...these addictions, can lose their livelihoods, friends, family, possessions, and their own lives. A. In the U.S, in 2003, approximately 2 million people were admitted into treatment. B. In the state of West Virginia, during 2003, 1,500 people were admitted into treatment. C. Addiction is not only a problem for the user, but for the friends, family, and the entire country who contributes tax dollars that pay for criminals rehabilitation, and the clean up involved with the crimes they committed, to obtain the drugs they need. III. Why does a user go to outstanding situations to seek these substances? A. Addiction generally refers to the situation where drug use appears to control the users behavior. B. Drugs become the number one priority of the user, and the other priorities are neglected. C. Addiction compared to other behaviors has a intense motivational drive to get the drug. 1. Many factors influence drug addiction, such as personality, characteristics, peer pressure, and psychological stress. IV. Drug addiction varies from person to person, from drug to drug. A. Drugs such as cocaine and heroin can addict their users after a few uses, and in rare cases the first hit. B. Drugs such as codeine and alcohol require more uses to addict their users. C. A person who is predisposed hereditarily, by the influence of their parents addiction, is more likely to become and addict then a person who is not genetically predisposed. V. Drug addiction has......

Words: 794 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...------------------------------------------------- HOME WORK 1: NASSER KHALED AL USAIMI Question 1 The topic I have selected for this homework assignment is “The problem of Drug Addiction amongst young people, causes and treatment” I feel that the problem of drug abuse and addiction is a serious social problem in our society and around the world. It slowly but surely is affecting the young generation eroding their abilities and capabilities and making them liabilities to the society in future. Some of the questions I would like to answer through research are * How prevalent is the problem of drug abuse among teens around the world? * How science has revolutionized the understanding of drug addiction? * What is the extent of drug problem in the Arab world? * What are the medical treatment options available for drug addicts? * What is the possibility of alternative treatments for drug addiction? I have utilized mainly the GUST library including the following database 1. Humanities Source 2. SAGE Humanities and Social Science Collection 3. ProQuest Social Science 4. Social Science Full Text 5. Google scholar QUESTION 2 I have considered the following five articles and citations for the purpose of this research 1. ------------------------------------------------- Name of the Article: Surveying Teens in School to Assess the Prevalence of Problematic Drug Use ------------------------------------------------- Name of the Author(s): Russel s. Falck,......

Words: 865 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

To Cure or Not to Cure

...Drug Addiction: To Cure or Not To Cure Chris G Kinney University of Phoenix Abstract Drug addiction is a huge social problem to some people feel there is no end. People either try to fight this disease or just put their hands down preferring to think that nothing could be done. This paper investigates what drug addiction really is and why some people believe it is incurable. Primarily the main focus of the work is dedicated to the issue of how this challenge may be addressed and the basic factors that would help to make the treatment work. Various visions of this problem are studied, and the conclusion is that any disease is possible to cure however the success of these actions in what concerns drug abuse is mostly dependent on the willingness of the patient to fight the illness. Drug addiction is a global social problem, a war sweeping away millions of lives and demolishing national gene pools. There is no exaggeration in this definition. It is not a disease in a common sense of this word however it’s not a usual aspect healthy people may have. Drug abuse is a complete affection of the personality combined usually with the following complications of physical health. The most significant peculiarity of drug use is that being a pathological illness it is rather nonreversible, provided those negative changes of the person’s soul and mind which happened as a reaction......

Words: 1939 - Pages: 8