The Problem Of Drug Addiction

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The reason behind a person initially taking drugs can vary and while the action itself is voluntary: the eventual drug addiction is essentially involuntary. Drug addiction is a complex and chronic disease, a brain disease, which changes the way the brain functions. Drug addiction, much like chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, disrupts healthy, normal functioning organs. This has harmful consequences that are both preventable and treatable (Branch, 2011, pp.263-265). Drug addiction is considered a brain disease as drugs change the brain structure and how the brain operates. These changes of the brain can be lifelong and can lead to the destructive behaviour seen in drug addicts (Perry, 2011, p.1). This essay will argue that addiction is in fact a disease rather than a behavioural disorder. Addiction is a brain disease which is expressed in behavioural ways (Leshnar, 2010, p.100). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has stated that addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease and that treating the brain is key to dealing with the problem of addiction (Branch, 2011, p. 263). Compelled by a physiological need to continue taking drugs the addiction will change the abuser, psychologically, for the worse (Gross, 2010, p.113). Addicts often engage in destructive behavior because they consider that the benefits far outweigh the cost of addiction (Henden, Melberg & Røgeberg, 2013, p.1). A drug addict is dependent on drugs and cannot live without them. Drug

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