Addiction: The Disease
HS 101: Addiction Pharmacology & Physiology
Instructor: Wanda Urban
November 23, 2013
I have often wondered why I turned out the way I did, an addict. I wonder if circumstances in my life influenced or contributed to that first time I decided to alter my state with a drug. Honestly, I don’t think it did. I had a normal childhood, in a loving family. We did not have a lot of money, but we had enough. We ate dinner together every night, we went camping in the summer, and took frequent family vacations. Even though there were no traumatic events to blame, I became an addict. But, I am not alone. A quick Google search will tell you that in 2002 there were an estimated 22 million Americans dependent on or abusing drugs, alcohol or both. That was a staggering number then, and is likely much higher now. Every day the news is full of the ramifications of addiction like drug overdoses, alcohol related accidents, and even death. I wonder how many of the people involved in these situations became addicts because of choice or if they were predisposed to the disease of addiction? There is much debate on whether addiction is a choice or a disease. Hundreds of books, journals and articles have been written on the topic and yet, the verdict is still out. Even in my own family there are conflicting points of view. At the dinner table one person argues it is definitely a choice, another says it is a disease, and yet another says it may very well be a disease, but you have a choice to use or not to use, therefor counting on will power to keep you healthy. Addiction is something that science has proven in recent years is a disease of the brain. However, many people, including some within my own family, still consider it to be a choice, or a matter of will power. To those people, I hope that you’ll read this paper and open your mind to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, it is in fact a disease of the brain and not something that...
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