Is Addiction A Primary Disease?

Good Essays
Elizabeth Morgan March 10, 2014
Chemical Dependencies midterm paper

Is Addiction a Symptom Or a Primary Disease? The problem with the question of whether addiction is a disease or not is that it requires us to try to fit a loosely defined term into a vaguely defined category. Critics of the addictive disease model, also called the medical model, say that labeling drug addiction as a disease detracts addicts from assuming responsibility and taking control of their lives. Yet the very nature of addiction is similar to many other diseases that are widely recognized as legitimate medical problems which are separate from the will and volition of those affected. Addiction is not a black and white issue of biology versus
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But to deny the biological components of addiction is detrimental to furthering research concerning drug addiction as well as the addicts themselves. It is important to distinguish drug abuse from drug addiction when determining whether or not it is a disease. Drug abuse is defined as continued use of a drug despite negative consequences, which may be medical, social or emotional. Drug addiction surpasses mere abuse in that drug addicts have completley lost control over their ability to regulate, maintain or cease drug abuse. Drug abusers retain some sense of free will concerning their use. Drug addicts are at the will of their disease. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, substance addiction is known to be a chronic and progressive brain disease that attacks and

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