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Neurobiology and Addiction

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Neurobiology and Addiction

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Neurobiology and Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction is a huge problem that Americans have been battling to solve for many decades. Although this issue is hidden and ignored, it is a growing prevalent issue that needs to be addressed immediately. In August 2002, Harvard school of public health conducted a study on “Americans views of the seriousness of health problems”. Out of the 36 problems noted, the number one problem with 82 percent of the public vote was drug abuse. In our current society many have come to accept the fact that a solution to this addiction will never be found. Others seem to think addiction is not a disease and is purely controlled by a person’s willingness to stop or continue using. There was stigma behind society’s view of people suffering from addiction. They were seen as morally failing compared to the rest of the world. This belief is completely incorrect and it is now proven that addiction is a serious pathological disorder. Research shows that repeated abuse of a substance causes behavioral changes and the connections a person’s brain makes to change. There is evidence that these changes can be both structural and functional. The emergence of neuroscience over the past couple of decades has changed the way we view addiction and has paved the way for new ways of treatment and prevention. Neuroscience is integrating two different approaches (i.e. the behavioral approach and a biological approach) to try to defeat an underlying problem affecting millions of Americans today. This combined strategy will help shed light on why humans become addicted to such harmful substances and how neuroscience can create effective treatments for addiction. There is huge controversy over whether this changing approach is beneficial to the fight against addiction or not. So while society be encouraging the advancement being made in the medical field about how neuroscience will improve addiction treatment, we must also be aware of how research can...