As early as 1939 with the publication of the first edition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous the medical community was aware that addiction was more than a moral shortcoming. In the first addition of the book in the chapter The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. William Silkworth (1939) wrote the following, “We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve” CITATION Alc76 \p xxvi \n \y \t \l 1033 (p. xxvi). This paper will examine the problems associated with addiction, the definition of addiction and treatment for addiction.
People who are addicted to drugs/alcohol suffer consequences in many areas of their lives. They may be financial due to job loss, health consequences such as illnesses that are caused by the drug use or cost of treatment, they may incur legal expenses due to arrests stemming from the drug use, and they may have spent large amounts of money on obtaining their drug of choice. There are also emotional consequences that cannot be measured. The addiction may devastate a family and cause it to break up. The addiction may land the user in mental institutions due to severe depression or suicide attempts. The user may end up in jail as a result of their addiction. According to the Alcoholics Anonymous the consequences for someone addicted to alcohol will be jails, institutions and death. Given all of the things that have to be considered when trying to calculate the cost of drug addiction it is probably impossible to...
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