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Prescription Drug Addiction Research

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For some people, the use of alcohol and drugs can lead to a chronic disease or long-term illness that has serious medical and social consequences. Are you feeling down, left out, trying to fit in? Addiction begins, so easily and takes over without any warning. It can begin with a bad day, consequences, peer pressure, or a teen trying to find a way to fit in. According to results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), “an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 6,600 initiates per day”. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “In 2014, 47,055 people died from drug overdoses. Since 2000, opioid drug…show more content…
Drug addiction is a brain disease because drugs change the brain’s structure and how they work. Over a period of time drugs start to affect the brain by challenging an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. “Most drugs affect the brain's reward circuit by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This overstimulation of the reward circuit causes the intensely pleasurable "high" that leads people to take a drug again and again. Over time, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine, which reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug, trying to achieve the same dopamine high.”, States National Institute on Drug Abuse. After long term use of drugs it affects functions such as learning, judgment, decision-making, stress, memory, and behavior. Even though an addict knows this, they still use…show more content…
The people that say it’s a choice they don’t look at or ignores what drug use does to the brain structures. To call addiction a “disorder of choice” merely scratches the surface, he says, and I agree, because we don’t really know what choice is. We don’t know how it works, and therefore we can’t avoid the uncertainty surrounding addictive choices, present or future. Choices involve an exchange between the part of your brain that wants something (the ventral striatum and related areas) and the part of your brain that thinks about consequences and directs behavior accordingly. “What’s wrong with the “choice” model? It sounds pretty rational. Just a problem of behavioral economics, as they call it. We keep choosing what feels best. And that also means that we can choose differently, providing a gateway to recovery. Once the future backs right up to the present moment, then the immediate choice, the addictive choice, loses its attraction, and we can choose to stop.” Another thing wrong with the choice model ignores the brain. “Big mistake! The brain that houses the famous dopamine pump, and its eagerly awaiting customer, the v. striatum, is the same brain as the one we use for making choices. From a brain’s-eye view, the reason people choose the immediate reward is that dopamine highlights immediate possibilities. That’s its function, and has been throughout evolutionary time. Research shows
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