Drug Abuse Should Be Considered A Brain Disease

1360 WordsApr 28, 20166 Pages
Drug misuse and abuse has fueled a controversial issue to arise amongst physicians, psychiatrists, and general citizens. Sally Satel, a methadone clinic psychiatrist in Washington D.C., wrote an interesting article titled “The Human Factor” in which she discusses the debate on whether drug addiction should be considered a brain disease or not. Satel believes that treatment for addicts should focus on treating them as humans with control over their lives, as opposed to treating them as people with an uncontrollable disease. Satel first addresses the social and economic consequences in the United States resulting from drug abuse. Annually, it accumulates over $200 billion dollars in expenses, $129 billion in lost workplace productivity costs, and $16 billion in healthcare costs. Altogether, it adds up to 3% of the total Gross Domestic Product. The U.S. government puts forth an effort to cut drug abuse through two different methods: supply and demand reduction. Supply reduction deals with limiting the availability of the drugs themselves, while demand reduction tries to prevent drug use from starting and also treat drug abusers who have already become accustomed to drug use. Then, Satel reveals that her job in the methadone clinic is to help heroin addicts with treatment and keep them from returning to heroin. She claims the most significant issue is getting addicts and former addicts to stop desiring the drug. In opposition to Sally’s belief, the National Institute on Drug

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