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Drug Strained Brain Essay

1338 words - 6 pages

Some people are convinced that a lack of will power is at the root of drug addiction, but I believe that it is linked to a brain disease. In most cases, the use of drugs begins voluntarily. However, using drugs persistently over time results in a brain disease, which alters the function and structure of the brain (“We Can Conquer Drug Addiction”). Addiction can be more than a brain abnormality; genetics can play a role in the likelihood of someone becoming addicted to drugs. In general, drugs are known for changing mood, memory, perception, and emotional states. If the drugs become an addiction, then severe effects related to health and social problems will occur. Some other consequences ...view middle of the document...

The fact that drug addiction is a brain disease is demonstrated by the following: addicts experience withdrawal at the absence of drugs, there is a need for formal treatment to overcome addiction, and there is a change in the addict’s brain from pre-addiction to addiction. Research shows that your brain is permanently altered. I once heard a counselor say that people who have not touched drugs are like a cucumber. Drug addicts are like pickles. He said once you have become a pickle you will never be a cucumber again!
Drugs create a physical dependency. In other words, when the use of an addictive substance is terminated, your body is thrown into a physical withdrawal consisting of discomfort and distress. A few symptoms may include tremors, diarrhea, and vomiting. The addiction develops when an addict loses control of their initially voluntary behaviors, making them uncontrollable. Addicts end up finding themselves dependant on drugs, no longer focusing on the essentials of life, but rather on drug cravings and seeking drugs. This interferes with the individual’s functioning in their family and in society. Drug addiction is similar to other brain diseases because of the behavior caused by the addiction. Similar to schizophrenics who cannot control their paranoia, and clinically depressed patients who cannot control their moods, addicts have limited control over their behavior. Once the addiction has occurred, one is in a diseased state and needs treatment just like any other disorder. It is well known that drug addicts tend to relapse multiple times when trying to kick the habit. Drug addiction goes beyond an individual’s will power and involves a component of physical addiction.
There are several different methods to help someone recover. One of these methods is being checked into a rehabilitation center. The first step of treatment is for them to realize and accept their problem; they have an addiction. During treatment addicts are taught how to deal with cravings and triggers that lead them back into using. Addicts must find better ways to cope with their problems. Also, it is important for them to stay busy so there is no time to use drugs. During the process of recovery it is pivotal for the addict to have support from their loved ones. Treatment alone does not automatically “cure” the addiction. Moreover in most cases it reduces the use little by little until the addict no longer is dependent. Family members and peers often times feel upset when an addict relapses, however addiction is tricky to overcome. The aftercare is just as critical as the rehabilitation is. It is crucial for addicts to stay busy, continue their treatment by attending meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholic Anonymous, and stay away from their triggers.
When addicts are essentially off on their own, it gets even more difficult, especially when it comes to possibly getting drawn back into their old patterns of abuse. According to the National Institute of...

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