Drug Addiction, Disease or Choice Essay

Words: 2096
Pages: 9

Tia Little
English 111
November 7, 2012

Addiction: A Decision or Disease? Drug and alcohol addiction is a very serious and widespread problem in America, and across the globe. Drug addiction is a constant craving, seeking, and using of a substance, despite the negative consequences it may have on the addict or those around them. When drug use becomes more frequent, it is considered drug abuse. Once an individual’s drug abuse is can no longer be controlled, and they are using the drug to get through everyday life, it beomes an addiction. A person on drugs has an altered way of thinking, behaving, and perceiving. There are treatment facilities all over the world dedicated to help those suffering with drug addictions. All
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Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time disrupt a person’s self control and challenges their ability to resist intense impulses urging them to take drugs (“Understand Drug Abuse”).This disease, just like other medical diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, are cause by several factors that can put an individual at risk for addiction. A biological risk factor for addiction a genetics. “Behavioral neuroscientist Karen Ersche of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and colleagues had set out to examine whether drug abusers begin life with miswired brain circuitry or merely end up that way. Imaging studies of addicts show dramatic differences in brain areas involved in motivation, reward, and self-control, to name just a few. But it's less clear whether these differences are the cause or the effect of drug abuse. Because both addiction and brain structure are likely to be inherited traits, many researchers suspect that drug abusers have faulty brain circuitry based in their genes”(Norton). Ersche and her colleagues performed this experiment by working with fifty pairs of biological siblings; one in each pair was addicted to cocaine or amphetamines while the other had no history of drug abuse. They included in the study fifty volunteers as controls who had no history of substance abuse. The researchers tested the peoples self control