Drug Addiction- Physical vs. Psychological

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From:| David Oakley (fouroaksatredwood@msn.com) |
Sent:| Mon 5/23/11 3:50 AM|
To: | Wendy Oakley (wmdk@msn.com)|
 
Melissa Oakley
Professor Taylor
Drugs and Drug Policy
28 April 2011
Drug Addiction—Physical vs. Psychological
            Research shows that an individual progresses from using drugs/substances, to being addicted to a drug/substance. This relationship with drugs (either legal or illegal) is complex because specific patterns of progression vary greatly from person to person. The causes of drug/substance use seem to be mainly due to external/social influences, for example peer pressure and abuse/addiction—dependence is essentially the result of internal psychological and physiological needs and stresses (www.libraryindex.com). So, in view of this, the causes are different for everyone. For part of this drug abuse/addiction scenario that is perplexing to me is why some people who use addictive substances become immediately dependent and others do not. More importantly, is the addiction a physical and/or psychological one? Most people believe that a physical addiction is worse and harder to overcome than a psychological addiction, but is this really the case? It appears that other factors must be considered to get to the truth of this matter.             The stereotypical drug addict as depicted by movies, television or the media is a person in pain and misery due to symptoms of withdrawal from narcotics or a person who is in dire need of a drug fix to prevent these physical withdrawal effects. However, according to Erich Goode, author of Drugs in American Society, “Not all psychoactive drugs are addicting”, and therefore do not cause the pain of physical withdrawal. In fact, narcotics, which include heroin and morphine, alcohol, barbiturates, as well as other depressants are the ones most associated with physical withdrawal. With the exception of alcohol, most of the drugs abused by teenagers, at least in my high school were not...
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