TMatheny_Unit4_Project_PS370

TMatheny_Unit4_Project_PS370 - Addiction Running head:...

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Addiction 1 Running head: ADDICTION AND CHRONIC DISEASE Addiction as a Chronic Disease Travis H Matheny Health Psychology PS370 Kaplan University Professor Sharon Lang Ph.D. May 8, 2011
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Addiction 2 Addiction as a Chronic Disease Drug Addiction Addiction is a primary, progressive, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It’s the compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance. Someone who is addicted or hooked psychologically believes that they cannot function without this substance in their bodies. People who are addicted feel an overwhelming, uncontrollable need for drugs. Repeated drug use altars the brain causing long lasting changes to the way it looks and functions. These brain changes interfere with your ability to think clearly, exercise good judgment, control your behavior, and feel normal without drugs. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over use of the substance, preoccupation with the substance, use of the substance despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking. Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person’s self control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs. Many people do not understand why individuals become addicted to drugs or how drugs change the brain to foster compulsive drug abuse. They mistakenly view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem and may characterize those who take drugs as morally weak. One very common belief is that drug abusers should be able to just stop taking drugs if they are only willing to change their behavior. What people often underestimate is the complexity of drug addiction—that it is a disease that impacts the brain and because of that,
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Addiction 3 stopping drug abuse is not simply a matter of willpower. Through scientific advances we now know much more about how exactly drugs work in the brain, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and resume their productive lives. Drug addiction tears families apart; they change individuals who once were the best people to be around. Most addictions start at an individual’s adolescence age where they just learning who they are and how to fit it. Drug addiction can and most of the time leads the individual to stealing from friends and even family. These individual do whatever is in the power
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This note was uploaded on 07/27/2011 for the course PSYCH 370 taught by Professor Lang during the Spring '11 term at Kaplan University.

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TMatheny_Unit4_Project_PS370 - Addiction Running head:...

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