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The World Of Addiction Essay

1912 words - 8 pages

“Addiction is a brain disease expressed in the form of compulsive behavior,” says by Alan Leshner in his article, “Addiction Is a Brain Disease” featured in the book Drug Abuse: Opposing Viewpoints. Addiction has a variety of meanings depending on what your viewpoint of addiction. According to dictionary.com, the concrete definition of the word addiction is, “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” Basically various doctors and therapist consider addiction to be a genetic disorder. “Provocative, controversial, unquestionably incomplete, the dopamine hypothesis provides a basic framework for understanding how a genetically encoded trait — such as a tendency to produce too little dopamine — might intersect with environmental influences to create a serious behavioral disorder. Therapists have long known of patients who, in addition to having psychological problems, abuse drugs as well. Could their drug problems be linked to some inborn quirk?” (Nash, and Parker, pg 2 of 8). Along with addiction being possibly a genetic disorder, a minority of scientist believe that the word ‘addiction’ is too broad in its denotation. “If addiction means ‘compulsive, out of control use of a dangerous drug’ is this the same as a person’s being ‘addicted’ to a cell phone? Scientist cannot work or live with this imprecision.” (Erickson, 2 of 253). They believe that the word is misunderstood in denotation. “It is important to correct the common misimpression that drug use, abuse and addiction are points on a single continuum along which one slides back and forth over time, moving from user to addict, then back to occasional user then back to addict” (Leshner, 71). With the broad range of classification of addiction, there are also a variety of types of addiction. They include alcoholism, substance/drug (including prescription drugs) addiction, nicotine addiction, and sex addiction, food addiction, shopping addiction, gambling addiction, work addiction and even internet addiction. They are manifold varieties of addiction; these are just a few of the well-known types of addiction.
One of the more common addictions that were mentioned is substance or drug addiction. In the medical dictionary substance abuse means, “Excessive use of a potentially addictive substance, especially one that may modify body functions, such as drugs.” The effects of substance abuse can show a discrepancy between physical and psychological effects. Essentially every drug has dissimilar physical effects on the body; they all have an effect on the brain initially in a similar manner. The physical effects of substance abuse includes; respiratory issues, cardiac issues, and even gastrointestinal issues. With these issues, they can get severe enough to lead up to further severe issues such as lung cancer, heart attacks, and kidney or liver damage,...

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