Addiction Is A Complex Disease

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Addiction is a complex disease that many people don’t fully understand. Substance abuse is very prevalent around the world, and far too over looked. In fact, forty million people ages 12 and older (or more than 1 in 7 people) have some form of addiction. These addictions involving nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs, and this statistic is just in America alone. This number is more than the number of Americans with heart conditions which is 27 million, diabetes which is 26 million, or cancer which is 19 million (CASAColumbia). Addiction and substance abuse is also responsible for more than 20% of all deaths in the U.S. each year (CASAColumbia). Addiction is a disease that sadly, far too many people suffer from. Addiction actually involves changes in the structure and function of the brain, this chance can in turn create compulsive substance use. Studies have recently found that the changes that happen to the brain during addiction, are very similar to the changes that happen to the brain with compulsive behaviors like gambling, bulimia, and compulsive eating. The reason for this is that humans feel pleasure when basic needs are met, the brain releases certain chemicals leaving feelings of pleasure. In the case of an addiction, substances cause the brain to release high levels of that chemical, and over time the continued use can cause a person to become dependent on the substance to feel normal (Gateway foundation). The changes in the brain can be brought on by
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