Teen Drug Addiction: a Chronic Ilness

Topics: Drug addiction, Addiction, Substance abuse Pages: 7 (2130 words) Published: April 3, 2011
RUNNING HEAD: Teen Drug Addiction; a Chronic Disease

Teen Drug Addiction: a Chronic Illness

Drug addiction is a chronic disease, associated with mental illnesses, and similar to other chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. No one chooses to be a drug addict or to develop heart disease. In my paper, I am going to research some issues of teenage substance abuse and examine some of the biological factors that cause drug abuse and addiction. I will also explain how the brain reacts to drugs. In addition, I will also provide statistics on the number of teens afflicted with drug abuse their race and gender. Furthermore, I will be discussing how drug addiction affects the individual and their families, along with social, biological, psychological and vocational affects of the disease, and available community support and interventions. Good What is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences to the individual that is addicted and to those around them. Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Although, it is true for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, overtime the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs. Source? From a medical perspective, substance abuse is a syndrome or maladaptive pattern of substance use. That result in a clinically significant impairment during a 12-month period, resulting on one or more of the following: recurring substance use causes a significant decrease in the ability to perform well and/or failure to fulfill obligations at work school or home despite negative social or interpersonal consequences (McLennan, A., 2010).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) issued by the American Psychiatric Association, defines “substance dependence” as; "when an individual persist in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may then be diagnosed." (DSM) defines “substance abuse” as; a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following. These must re-occur within a 12-month period. Recurring substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance related absences, suspensions or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household). Substance use disorders often affect a combination of psychological, biological, and environmental and social issues. Many of the substances are included in the disorders, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, sedatives, hallucinogens, and halides, or PCP. Substance use usually results in the complex disorder, which is addiction (Danielson, C., et., al. 2010). Experts have identified four stages in the addiction process: Stage one, is the exploratory stage, stage two, is the recreational stage, stage three, is the abusive stage, and stage four, is the dependent stage that eventually develops into an addiction. Once the person is addicted to a substance, they often begin to abuse them. Drug addiction most often results in a loss of choice. The desire to use the drug may have its roots in and need to ease the situation or unpleasant circumstance. This is dangerous because it is only one-step further away from using the drug for recreation and one-step closer to an addiction. Drug abuse is associated with the compulsivity that in turn leads to dependency and addiction. This is normally true; however, there are cases of individuals who abuse...
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