Addiction Is a Disease Essay

1421 Words Oct 26th, 2008 6 Pages
Many people believe the misconception that an addiction is a moral problem and not a disease. To better understand the reasons why an additicition is in fact a disease; I will identify several types of addictions, and the problems associated with them. I will examine reasons why certain people are more susceptible for developing an addiction. Also, I will determine why many addicts deny their problems and many recovery methods addicts use to fight their illness. Researching these issues, will help aid my claim that addiction is a disease.

Addictions can form from using mood altering drugs such as, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and caffeine, or behavioral processes as with gambling, eating, sex or shopping (Schwartz 21). Schwartz
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The difference between recreational use and addiction occurs when people need alcohol/drugs in order to socialize (Henderson 24). The addict may associate the substance with positive social experiences, “I finally felt like I could fit in and socialize.” (24) Another contributor to developing addiction is the agent factors; this is the likelihood that a particular substance will be abused. Some substances are less likely to be abused, and may not be as addictive as others. Agent factors also take into consideration how the substance enters the body (Henderson 19). For example, if a substance is taken orally, the drug is usually less addictive than a drug that is injected into the vein. An inhaled substance can be more addictive than both oral and injected forms. The chosen method of use pertains to how quickly a drug reaches the brain. An inhaled substance can reach the brain in seconds, where as an injected substance will travel around the bloodstream, taking a much longer time to reach the brain. When we look at these three factors, psychiatric, social and agent, we discover that a person’s morality is not the reason individuals are becoming addicted. The underlying factors that lead to addictions are much more complex.
“Denial is a psychological defense mechanism that is found almost universally in people with addiction” (Henderson 2). Many addicts ignore detrimental consequences in order to
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