Understanding Addiction

1317 Words6 Pages
Understanding Addiction Limestone College Abstract As early as 1939 with the publication of the first edition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous the medical community was aware that addiction was more than a moral shortcoming. In the first addition of the book in the chapter The Doctor’s Opinion, Dr. William Silkworth (1939) wrote the following, “We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once…show more content…
The source of addiction is complex and entails interactions between biological factors and environmental factors. Some research suggests that some people are born with a higher tendency to become addicted. According to this argument, addiction is a biological disease, much like diabetes or hypertension, and acquiring the tendency (or predisposition) to addiction is as much out of a person’s control as the predisposition to some other diseases” CITATION Rob13 \p 349 \n \y \t \l 1033 (p. 349). Historically drug addiction has not been treated like other chronic diseases. Society has viewed the illness as being based on the person using drugs/alcohol and concluded that stopping the behavior would end the problem. The reality is that other people who have chronic disorders often require sustained and repeated treatment episodes. Amelia Arria and A. Thomas McLellan (2012) pointed out, “First, viewing addiction as a “bad habit’ or a “sin” has led us to unnecessarily attach antisocial attributes to both the addiction process itself and to those who become addicted. Second, the nature of our traditional treatments for this “condition”-generally short term, educational, and segregated from the rest of medical care–do not comport with the scientific findings showing
Open Document