In this educational short paper piece of addiction solution Victoria, we will highlight extremely eminent topics like addiction or the nature of an addiction. It is a brain illness or a brain disease and this is defined by two medical bodies in particular. We use the term addiction to cover a whole range of different behavioral problems that people experience in controlling behaviors many years ago of course that tone was used quite narrowly to cover problems that people had with what we would now consider being physical addiction.
What happens after taking drugs for long time?
You take a drug you get used to the drug your body adapts physiologically and then when you stop taking the drug you suffer unpleasantly or even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms we no longer use the term in that way for a very good reason and that is we’ve come to understand that there’s actually a wide range of different kinds of behaviors which fall into this broad category that we want to call this addiction.
Addiction is not confined
The real problem is not the withdrawal symptoms but what happens to the person’s free will if you like what happens to the choices that they make the behaviors that they’re engaging we now recognize that the nature of an addiction covers things that don’t even involve, for example, some forms of internet use and even issues such as eating disorders or obesity.
So there is this general term that we’re now used to describe a behavioral problem in which there’s a powerful motivation to engage in a behavior which has been learned through experience and which is causing harm a way that society treats them affects the problems that the users experience so for example when you have something like alcohol dependence or addiction to cigarettes both of which comprise behaviors which are essentially legal then you’ve got a different set of problems than if you’re trying to deal with problems associated with illicit drug use the fundamental differences arise from the social context the pharmacology of the drug.
How viewing addiction from a particular angle effects the treatment?
If there is a drug involved and the psychological reactions to the drug and the social context in which to care the wave understand nature of an addiction and its affects what we do to try to combat it? let’s say you’re a politician or working in an agency that’s involved in interventions to try to combat addiction your model of addiction is that it is fundamentally about choice about a free choice that addicts make then you will engage in a certain kind of intervention you would engage in interventions that affect that choice, for example, you’ll use the criminal justice system you’ll use taxation you’ll use mass media campaigns to try to tackle the problem if you’re someone who believes that addiction is fundamentally a brain disease then it’s a different set of interventions you will try to look for better drugs to help people to stop or better behavioral support programs to treat this disease process so it makes a very big difference how you view the problem.
let’s summarize it it’s a chronic brain illness, it always has one cause which is a poorly functioning reward memory and reasoning circuit it involves the compulsive pursuit of dopamine reinforces which is a posh way of saying drugs alcohol sex and overeating, and other things it displays very certain symptoms like blunt pleasure response extreme boredom and feelings of poor and purpose and this brain circuit the reward memory and reasoning circuit will start to go down and down and down until the addict is in a very poor state indeed and then, of course, they will have to seek treatment and ideally they will need to abstain.