Understanding Addiction Essay

1318 Words Nov 16th, 2014 6 Pages
Understanding Addiction
Limestone College
As early as 1939 with the publication of the first edition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous the medical community was aware that addiction was more than a moral shortcoming. In the first addition of the book in the chapter The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. William Silkworth (1939) wrote the following, “We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once
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The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (2013) published a fact sheet on how illicit drug use affects business and the economy, “The economic cost of drug abuse in the United States was estimated at $193 billion in 2007, the last available estimate. The value includes:
$120 billion in lost productivity, mainly due to labor participation costs, participation in drug abuse treatment, incarceration, and premature death:
$11 billion in healthcare costs – for drug treatment and drug –related medical consequences: and
$61 billion in criminal justice costs, primarily due to criminal investigation, prosecution and incarceration, and victim costs CITATION Off14 \p 1 \n \y \t \l 1033 (p. 1).
In a paper called the Sociology of Addiction (2014) found on the Limestone College Library site the authors came up with figures on the cost to life, “According to the World health Organization (WHO), addiction is a worldwide problem. Indeed, more than 15.3 million people confront drug abuse issues internationally, and the abuse of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths every year” CITATION McM14 \p 1 \n \y \t \l 1033 (p. 1).
For many years the definition of addiction has been under debate. Is it an illness or is it a choice. According to Robin Bartlett (2013), “While addiction has been viewed historically as a moral failing or lack of individual self-control, it is now recognized and treated as a chronic brain disease often associated with

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