Drug Addiction And Its Effects On America Essay

956 Words Apr 28th, 2016 4 Pages
Addiction is medically defined as a chronic brain disease in which an individual compulsively uses drugs, often times leading to health problems, as well as self-destructive and harmful behaviors (“The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction,” n.d.). Drug addiction is considered a brain disease because these substances can cause changes to the brain’s normal structure and functioning of neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers. Drugs like marijuana and heroin mimic the structure of these neurotransmitters, causing abnormal signals to be sent out. Other drugs like cocaine disrupt the regulation of neurotransmitter signaling, causing certain signals to be amplified while others are muted, thereby altering the way the brain communicates with the body (“Understanding Addiction,” n.d.). The National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported that drug addiction causes nearly an annual loss of $700 billion in terms of crime, loss of productivity, and health care costs. There are also enormous non-monetary losses that drug abuse and addiction leads to such as the effects on family members and relationships, and child and domestic abuse.
However, these losses can be curbed as drug addiction is a preventable and curable disease. There has been a plethora of studies conducted over the past several decades researching various preventative methods, as well as treatments and therapies. Both pharmacological and psychosocial evidence-based therapies (EBTs) have been introduced. Research has shown…

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