As some one who has been clean and sober for over 6 years
It does not start out as an illness but it becomes one in short order
Nobody calls nicotine addiction a disease.
I doubt lions spend much time pondering this issue.
Here’s my deal. If you do drugs, you don’t belong in this country. Don’t go to jail, don’t pay a fine and don’t expect to get the govt to treat you. Just leave.
Until just a few short years ago it was considered a disability that qualified addicts for disability checks which they then used to buy their heroin.
County sponsored heroin. Really.
But I thought methadone was the cure...
After some recent and unpleasant dealings with addicts, Im not sure what to think, beyond God save me from more.
The UK is the place that pays girls who get pregnant, right? Birth an illegitimate kid and the state will award you a prize, an apartment plus money every month. Such a deal. No wonder illegitimacy is growing by leaps and bounds.
The neurochemistry of various drugs result in an actual physiological change in the brain which affects levels of various chemicals - including dopamine. It also can cause a loss of control and compulsive drug intake. Drug use over time can alter the brain’s suceptibility to relapse. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/158/12/2015
and http://books.google.com/books?id=G9OhG-dZdAwC&pg=PA65&lpg=PA65&dq=neurochemistry+tomography+heroine&source=web&ots=Cts0XiShAy&sig=MXUC9oEIC-ApqKSpYwjTV47Nr-U#PPP1,M1 Some of this can be eased by drug therapy as a person attempts to transition to a non-drug state.
Addicts/alcoholics commonly suffer from a “dual diagnosis” with some personality disorder that can be treated.
The classic description of a drug’s effect on the brain is centered on the reward system, in particular, neurons that project ventrally from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens. Those neurons release dopamine, and alcohol and drugs of abuse excite them directly or indirectly. When dopamine is delivered to the nucleus accumbens, it stimulates pleasure.
The trouble starts when, over time, this system starts to erode and develop tolerance. The same amount of drug induces smaller dopamine responses, VTA neurons can shrink, synaptic connections decay, receptor densities change, and the expression of certain genes increases, particularly those related to anxiety and depression. This, according to George Koob at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., is the “dark side of addiction,” when an addict continues using a drug merely to ameliorate the bad feelings of being addicted.
Call it an "illness" or an "allergy" it is simple fact that people's brains are wired differently. I know a lady who smoked all year long at school and spent the summers a non-smoker. She never could understand the "addiction" of smoking. Definitely an exceptional person.
interesting thread & comments
This author is full of unadulterated bovine scatology.
I’m an addict, and a LLLLLOOOONG time ago, it stopped being a moral decision for me. It actually became a true disease.
(PS: I’m clean multiple years now)
I’m all for treating substance abuse as exactly what it is- moral weakness.
I’ve been around these people my whole life and even had my own problems “back in the day”. Two basic things they ALL have in common: these are some of the most self-indulgent people you will EVER meet and it’s ALWAYS “someone else’s fault”.
I have not one ounce of sympathy for drunks or drug abusers.