We hear the word “addiction” passed around by our friends, the media, and our families. Specialists—such as sociologists or psychologists—constantly reveal new forms of addiction, referring to various kinds of activities. Besides such omnipresent forms as addiction to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or gambling, today experts also have distinguished addictions to the Internet, mobile technologies, computer games, work, sex, television, caffeine, and many subjects. Sometimes people confuse the meaning of the term “addiction” and may use it to indicate their habitual activities, or hobbies. Yet, not any repeated behavior is a manifestation of addiction. Therefore, the meaning of this term should be clarified.
The forming of an addiction does not imply a unique mechanism of getting used to particular occupations or substances. On the contrary, experts often distinguish psychological and physical aspects of addiction. They can be interconnected (as in the case of alcohol or drug addiction), or be manifested without interconnection (Internet addiction). In other words, when talking about addiction, we should mind it can either refer to a substance dependence or behavioral malfunctions.
What is a psychological or behavioral addiction then? According to the website of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, it is a chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry, which is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by performing certain actions (ASAM). The Collins English Dictionary defines addiction as a condition of being abnormally dependent on a certain habit. Psychological addiction is followed by such symptoms as an individual becoming obsessed with an object or activity; engaging in the activity or habitual behavior even if it is potentially harming; denying problems connected to the addiction and hiding the addictive behavior from others; and several others (Indiana University). Therefore, based on the aforementioned statements, we can say psychological addiction is a pathological condition of the mind, which is characterized by an excessive dependency or obsession on a certain object or action and ignoring the potential dangers of addictive behavior.
The physical aspect of an addiction is characterized with a continued use of certain substances even when significant problems related to their use develop (Wexner Medical Center). As a result, bodies of such addicts cannot tolerate without new doses of drugs, alcohol, etc. Since people with an addiction (substance dependence in particular) have little or no control over their obsessions (Medical News Today), physical addiction can be defined as a constant need to intake certain substances to satisfy one’s craving, even though this may be harmful for the addict, who often is unable to control the craving.
Combining the two definitions we have distilled, we can define the phenomenon of addiction as a mind pathology characterized by an obsession of certain actions, objects, or substances, which brings addicts temporary satisfaction while often being harmed by them, but over which they have little or no control.
“Definition of Addiction.” American Society of Addiction Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <http://www.asam.org/for-the-public/definition-of-addiction>.
“What are Addictive Behaviors ?” Indiana University. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/hints/addictiveb.html>.
“Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency.” Wexner Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/mental_health/mental_health_about/substance/Pages/index.aspx>.
“All About Addiction.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 03 May 0032. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/addiction/>.
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Addiction: Is it a Disease or a Choice? Essay
1000 Words4 Pages
Addiction: is it a disease or a choice? A disease can be described as “a disorder of structure or function that produces specific signs or symptoms, or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of a physical injury.” Knowing this, one can believe addiction is a disease. It is something that is done frequently, that usually does not end, just as a disease; it cannot cease on its own, because it requires some form of treatment. The big question regarding addiction is why people believe it to be a choice opposed to a disease.
Addiction affects 40% of the population in the Western world (Lewis, Marc). There are many different kinds of addictions such as: food, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling or sexual aspects. When…show more content…
If addiction is put in the disease category, it alleviates shame and gets people to seek treatment sooner. Addiction can be referred to as a matter of choice. If someone chooses to be addicted to something, they make the choice to not put an end to the use of the substance. An addiction is not something that can be forced upon an individual. Self-medication is the effort and ability to help oneself to better themselves, when it comes to their addiction. They find ways to replace the action, or they add other things thinking it will help them recover. The road to recovery is like a developmental process for the individuals that are suffering.
Addiction is now mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM). With it being mentioned in this book, the idea cannot be dismissed about it being a disease (Leyton, Marco). This book is used to look up diseases and learn more about the overview, symptoms and possible cures. All of the diseases known are listed. It’s like the dictionary or encyclopedia of human diseases.
Some people continue to believe an addiction is nothing but a choice. If presented well, it could make a valid argument along