The Addiction Should Be Defined

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First, addiction should be defined. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, addiction is defined as, “The state or condition of being dedicated or devoted to a thing, esp. an activity or occupation; adherence or attachment, esp. of an immoderate or compulsive kind.” Now with this definition, it seems like people can be addicted to just about anything. That being said, there are two main types of addictions; behavioral and substance. Behavioral addiction is defined by the American Addiction Centers as “The compulsion to continually engage in an activity or behavior despite the negative impact on the person’s ability to remain mentally and/or physically healthy and functional in the home and community.” Simply put, people with behavioral…show more content…
As defined by the English Oxford Dictionary, a disease is “a disorder of structure or function...that produces specific symptoms.” When an individual develops an addiction, people often face changes both in their brain structure and function. In order to determine whether or not addiction is a brain disease, the brain of addicts must be looked at. Most addictions, both behavioral and substance, deal with the regions of the brain that are associated with dopamine release. Dopamine works in a small area of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens. The nucleus accumbens is also central for attention and habit formation. When functioning normally, the brain rewards us for normal activities such as eating. Dopamine levels when eating are measured and released slowly. However, certain activities and drugs cause the dopamine to be released at a far more rapid rate. This causes what is known as the state of being high. As an addict continues to abuse the drug or activity, the brain reduces the number of dopamine receptors. This causes the person to experience what is known as a crash when the effects begin to die down. This crash can lead to the addict feeling lethargic and depressed. In order to avoid this crash, addicts will continue to use the drug to stay high. However, the longer the person is using the drug or activity, the harder it will become to achieve the level of high they are looking for. This can lead to addicts upping their dosage or even
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