Drug Addiction- Physical vs. Psychological

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From: | David Oakley (fouroaksatredwood@msn.com) | Sent: | Mon 5/23/11 3:50 AM | To: | Wendy Oakley (wmdk@msn.com) | Melissa Oakley Professor Taylor Drugs and Drug Policy 28 April 2011 Drug Addiction—Physical vs. Psychological Research shows that an individual progresses from using drugs/substances, to being addicted to a drug/substance. This relationship with drugs (either legal or illegal) is complex because specific patterns of progression vary greatly from person to person. The causes of drug/substance use seem to be mainly due to external/social influences, for example peer pressure and abuse/addiction—dependence is essentially the result of internal psychological and physiological needs and stresses…show more content…
In addition, millions of people drink alcohol and never become addicted or have a problem with it. Similarly many numbers of people try or use illegal drugs and never become dependent or have to face serious consequences because of that use. It is clear that a stronger force is at work in regard to the problem of addition as displayed by the situation with the alcoholic’s relapses previously discussed. The missing piece of this puzzle is what is referred to as psychological dependence/addiction. Most people (even addicts themselves) may not believe that a psychological addiction could explain rampant, life destroying drug abuse. The reason for this according to Dodes is “Because they think that to say something is caused by psychological factors means it is a question of will power—and that they are being told they are lacking in willpower” (79). Nothing could be further from the truth. Here, the psychological addiction factor referred to is behavioral dependence. There is an inclination to think that one has a choice, but according to Dodes, “The essence of human psychology lies in not simply what is in awareness, but also the unconscious thoughts, conflicts and feelings that drive much of our behavior especially actions that are problematic and irrational” (79). In order to illustrate this point, all one has to do is think about some non-drug addictions such as gambling or sex, which also have serious
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