Addiction is like all behaviours “the business of the brain”. Addictions are compulsive physical and psychological needs from habit-forming sustenances like nicotine, alcohol, and drugs. Being occupied with or involved in such activities, leads a person who uses them again and again to become tolerant and dependent eventually experiencing withdrawal. (Molintas, 2006).
Addictive drugs cause dopamine neurons to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. The narcotics disable the neurons that would usually keep the dopamine neurons in check; becoming over stimulated. Endorphins are produced and released within the brain, creating a high and reinforcing the individual’s positive associations with the activity. Hence “the rush” (Molintas, 2006)
Considering alcohol, alcoholic beverages have been a part of this nation`s past since the Pilgrims landed (David Capuzzi, 2008, p. 4). Early colonists had a high regard for alcoholic beverages because alcohol was believed to be a healthy substance with preventative and curative capabilities rather than as an intoxicant. (David Capuzzi, 2008, p. 4) Alcohol was the “centerpiece” in taverns throughout the colonies.
The production and consumption of alcohol caused enough concern to precipitate several versions of the `temperance ‘movement, which was developed to encourage people to refrain from the use of distilled spirits. Their goal was the replacement of excessive drinking with more moderate and socially approved levels of drinking (David Capuzzi, 2008, p. 4).
In the early 1800`s, clergy took the position that alcohol could corrupt both the mind and body (David Capuzzi, 2008, p. 4). Throughout history, humans have used drugs to achieve desired changes of experiences. Even ancient warriors “fortified themselves with alcohol before battle to boost their courage and decrease sensitivity to pain”. (David Capuzzi, 2008, p. 20) Those people who over consumed were regarded as weak-willed or sinful but were not felt to be a threat to society. Records indicate that people sought help for drinking problems in Egypt approximately 5000 years ago. Even though there has been substantial research, many questions remain regarding addiction (David Capuzzi, 2008, p. 20).
Historically in the later part of the 18th century, the teachings and writings of Benjamin Rush actually precipitated the birth of the American disease concept of alcoholism as an addiction (David Capuzzi, 2008, p. 10). Benjamin Rush; a physician, originally from Philadelphia began to write about inebriety (UnKnown, 2011). He referred to this condition as a disease of the will, resulting in loss of control, and that over-drinking behaviour is curable but only through abstinence (David Capuzzi, 2008, p. 10) (UnKnown, 2011).
The rationale for this view was that no rational person would deliberately engage in a behaviour that was both anti-social and harmful to them. Hence they must be consuming substances against their will, which is unlike normal people....