Essay about Is Addiction a Brain Disease

2409 Words Jan 29th, 2013 10 Pages
Position Paper: Is Addiction a Brain Disease?

Introduction

Addiction, it is all around us, affecting people from all walks of life, it is not limited to certain social classes or lifestyles. It is found in every ethnic group, regardless of gender or age. It affects our neighbors, our friends, and our family either directly or indirectly. Although substances such as alcohol and illegal drugs are two of the most common addictions we hear about, there is a wide range of substances and even activities such as gambling and shopping. There is some debate whether addiction is a brain disease or a choice.
This controversy has been going on for years and a decision whether or not addiction is a brain disease has yet to be reached.
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I have seen this disease affect people close to me and can only have hope that someday there will be a treatment.
First hand, I have seen three families, with different backgrounds, affected by addiction. Two lost a loved one to the overdose of drugs and the other is struggling along with their loved one, who is addicted, to defeat it. One mother wanted to know how this could have happened to her son, how he could lose control of his life and eventually lost the battle of addiction. I do not believe that a person voluntarily WANTS to be addicted, or that they even realize what addiction truly is prior to becoming addicted. However, I do agree with both sides that a person does voluntarily make the choice to take a drug of abuse. But have given more thought into it about why a person can’t just stop taking the drug when they know it is harmful and changes their behavior.
My conclusion is that addiction is caused by drugs that are induced with one or more certain types of chemicals that travel through the brain and have an effect on the area of the brain where we feel pleasure and joyful feelings. Also, some people are more susceptible than others to becoming addicted to drugs of abuse than others because their brain reacts differently to the chemical(s) in a drug. Furthermore, addiction has signs and symptoms and a predictable progression and it is apparent that the characteristics of the disease

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