Addiction: Disease or Not?

Published: 2020-05-13 08:36:04
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Sandra Nigro Intro to Psych M/W 5:30 19. November. 2008 Addiction: Disease or Not? Is addiction a disease or a psychological/biological disorder. First we need to consider what a disease is. In the following statements and research I will be attempting to compare to views on this matter. The importance of this topic is to really to discuss what is at hand. According to Alice M Young, addiction has a tremendous effect on the brain, both psychological and biological. Jeffrey A. Schaler, on the other hand, is trying to convince us that addiction is a disease.
One author speaks of brain processes and the other on predispositions. This is what I came up with. In Alice M. Young’s article, Addictive Drugs and the Brain, she suggests that an addiction to drugs may effect brain processes, such as learning and emotion. (1) (Young, Alice M. 1999. Addictive Drugs and the Brain”) According to this article, when one uses” heroin it travels through out the body and reaches the surface of the neurons. Heroin turns into morphine and can cause profound physiological or psychological changes in the brain. 2) (Young, Alice M. 1999. Addictive Drugs and the Brain”) When talking about the psychological effects, drug addiction alters our ability to learn and remember through experience and repeat actions w/ reinforcing consequences in the past. (3) (Young, Alice M. 1999. Addictive Drugs and the Brain” ) Another roll in addiction is memory. Like Pavlovian conditioning, repeating the drug use and being rewarded can condition someone to form strong memories of the drug or the reward/effect. (4) (Young, Alice M. 1999. Addictive Drugs and the Brain”) Drugs will mimic or block neurotransmitters by altering their activity. (5) (Young, Alice M. 1999. Addictive Drugs and the Brain”) For example cocaine changes the chemical states of the natural neurotransmitters such as; dopamine, serotonin and nor epinephrine. (6) (Young, Alice M. 1999. Addictive Drugs and the Brain”) In Schaler’s article, Is Addiction Really a Disease? ” he tends to repeat himself and the article is quite redundant. He never really gives up a solid” definition of what constitutes a disease.
He informs us what is not a disease but not what a disease is. He says, Addiction is a disease because doctors say it’s a disease (social psychologists call this peripheral-route processing) rather than critical evaluation of the message itself (central-route processing) (7) (Schaler, Jeffrey A. 2000. Is Drug Addiction Really a Disease? ”) He talks about how addiction may cause diseases; alcoholism can cause cirhosis and smoking can cause lung cancer and heart disease. I honestly found his article hard to read. I support the article by Alice M.
Young. Her information was clearer and makes much more sense, scientifically, than Jeffrey A Schaler’s article. Young ad some solid test and evidence about what drug addiction has on the brain, neurons and neurotransmitters. Though I’m not an advocate for animal testing, they provided information about the circuits involved in the ventral segmental area, the nucleus accumbens and the frontal cortex. (8) (Young, Alice M. 1999. Addictive Drugs and the Brain”) She also discussed tolerance. The more one uses, the more they will need to get a rush”.
There is also physical dependence, in which the brain can not function normally with out the drug. In conclusion, the two authors, Alice M. Young (Addictive Drugs and the Brain) and Jeffrey A. Schaler(Is Addiction Really a Disease? ) both have points about their topics but I found Young’s to be better written and presented. Again, Schaler’s article is repetitive and doesn’t really state whether or not addiction is a disease. I am a biology major with a chemistry minor and I need solid proof, facts, not what he said, she said. Young proofs her details and facts whereas Schaler just writes, over and over again.

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