Drug Addiction Model

Great Essays
Drug addiction is a powerful condition that imprisons the mind and body of its users, which leads to the question of whether the option to use remains a choice or becomes a disease. Current statistics reveal that 24.6 million Americans reported using illicit drugs in 2013 (SAMHSA, 2014). That number alone is clear evidence of a significant drug problem in our society. Throughout history there have been conflicting opinions about drug addiction being a choice or a disease. In this paper, I will present information that will substantiate the claims that addiction is in fact, a disease. In order to clearly demonstrate that fact, I will identify common opinions and research on the topic of drug addiction. I will then explain the neurobiological …show more content…
Nora D. Volkow has conducted extensive research exploring the effects of various drugs on the systems within the brain (Stanford, 2009). One of Dr. Volkow’s studies on cocaine addicts revealed that even after 100 days of abstinence, frontal cortical areas of the brain were still exhibiting extreme levels of disruption (Volkow, 2004). The results of this research strengthen the disease model concept of addiction and illustrate the adverse effects that drugs of abuse have on the higher functioning parts of the brain which are responsible for making rational decisions (Volkow, 2004). Research studies aimed at investigating the science of addiction are revealing solid evidence which demonstrates that drugs of abuse are acting on specific neural circuitry within the brain (Stanford, …show more content…
This can be attributed to the fact that the brain has adapted to the presence of the heroin and subsequently developed a tolerance to the euphoric effects of the drug (Buutner, 2011). The drug user must then self-administer higher doses of the drug in order to attempt to reach the once euphoric feeling (Buutner, 2011). Unfortunately, the brains reward system has been so altered that it is no longer making its own “feel good” chemicals and expects to get the DA dump from the drugs (Stanford, 2009). The extent of the brains adaption and dysregulation is dependent on the type of drug that is being taken (Stanford, 2009). Some drugs cause greater reinforcing effects and ultimate damage than others. More studies are needed to determine the exact causes of these differences, but what is known is that many other areas of the brain reward system are being altered by the drugs (Buttner,

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    Naltrexone Case Study

    • 1064 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Consequently, addicts are switching to easier to inject and snort opioids, such as oxymorphone, fentanyl, morphine, and, of course, heroin. Using painkillers in any way other than as prescribed greatly increases the risk of an overdose. Targiniq ER, a long-acting oxycodone formulation, contains the abuse-deterrent medication naloxone. If injected or snorted, naloxone will cause immediate and painful withdrawal symptoms, thereby reducing the potential for abuse. Many physicians feel that this is a step in the right direction to reduce the abuse potential of…

    • 1064 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “Today, one in four deaths is attributable to illicit drug use” (“Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction”). In our society today, recreational drugs have had many negative impacts. The use of these drugs causes harm to the people who use them, which in turn affects our society. Recreational drug use has also dramatically increased in the last few years, and the numbers continue to grow. A survey was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of over 70,000 Americans who were age 12 and older.…

    • 1113 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Cocaine Effects On Society

    • 1558 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The drug has also caused violence with family and has broken homes. These issues are caused by cocaine and the affect society. Cocaine leads to many damages to the brain and the dopamine is blocked to the norepinephrine. According to Beveridge et al. (2005) found in their study that “Activation of the brain dopaminergic system is thought to be the primary mechanism by which cocaine exerts its reinforcing and behaviorally activating effects”.…

    • 1558 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Drug Addiction Causes

    • 819 Words
    • 4 Pages

    When dissolved in water, cocaine powder can be injected into the bloodstream as this is the fastest way to intoxicate the brain. Drugs that have aesthetic effects normally have a prescription. However, the patient may gradually develop a drug addiction because of the great deal of relaxation these drugs cause. How drugs alter the brain As aforementioned, different drugs change the way the brain works. In particular, they enter the limbic system (also called the reward system).…

    • 819 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Drug Addiction Essay

    • 2182 Words
    • 9 Pages

    This is because these drugs have strong chemicals in them that affect the brain. Being addicted to drugs like heroin or cocaine can cause brain damage and actually rewire the brain to think differently, making it difficult to quit the drug. To begin with, heroin is a drug…

    • 2182 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Alcohol Vs Drugs

    • 1824 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Currently heroin abuse and overdose is one of the biggest problems people are trying to stop within drug use. Because tolerance builds up as a person continues to use, they have to take more and more amounts of the drug for it to work as well as they want. Since they start taking higher doses that can also factor into the overdose problem. Heroin is used by many people because it is cheaper than other drugs, easier to get, and gives a good high (Drug abuse 2016). Because of this, dealers tend to take advantage of their clients, and substitute part of heroin with fentanyl, and it is deadly.…

    • 1824 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Even though drugs affect many people, the affects can be faced in successful ways. Nearly every culture has had a problem with the use of drugs and drug abuse (Hanson, Venturelli, & Fleckenstein, 2012). Drugs have caused many illnesses and injuries across the world from continued misuse of licit and illicit drugs. Having the exact cause to drug abuse is yet to be known, but there are several risk factors that…

    • 1255 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The nation leads the world in highest illegal drug use in the world (U.S. Leads the World in Illegal Drug Use, 2008.) According to SAMHSA’s national survey, an estimated 1.8 million are admitted to treatment facilities in 2008. Substance abuse has been a reoccurring issue in our nation and needs to implement programs to help prevent the use of drugs before people are in…

    • 835 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The negative effects of drug abuse affect individuals, who abuse, but also their families, friends, businesses, and government resources. According to the ONDCP recently reported that in 2002, the economic cost of drug abuse to the United States was $180.9 billion. Despite increased public awareness, drinking and drugged driving continues. According to the “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s” (NHTSA) National Roadside Survey, more than 16% of weekend, night drivers tested positive for prescription, and illegal drugs (11% tested positive for illegal drugs). In 2009, of the fatal injuries 18% of the drivers tested positive for at least one drug (illegal, prescription and/or over-the-counter).…

    • 831 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Drug addiction has severe consequences affecting every aspect of and individual’s life. Heroin, in particular, has turn into an epidemic concerning many young Americans. History There is no exact date when and where the opium poppy was first cultivated. The history of opium goes way back to 3400 B.C., the opium poppy was cultivated in lower Mesopotamia. Opium was initially used by Egyptians and Persians, ultimately spreading…

    • 2056 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics