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Running head: AMERICA’S WORST NIGHTMARE

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America’s Worst Nightmare Conce t Essa! "erem! #a$$eca$$e %&S 'usiness Co$$ege

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AMERICA’S WORST NIGHTMARE America’s Worst Nightmare "ohnn! rushes into his room unnoticed and $oc0s the door 1ehind him* His cra2ings 3orsen as he dra3s nearer to satis4!ing his a etite* Chec0s the time o4 the da!5 ma0ing sure e2er!one in the house is a$read! as$ee * Scurr!ing to his 1ac0 ac0 on the other side o4 the room he accidenta$$! 1um s into his des0 $aunching his 4ami$! icture to the 4$oor* He 1egins rummaging through his 1ac0 ac0 4or the desired goods unti$ he $oc0s ho$d o4 it* He u$$s it out o4 his 1ag6 thro3s the ac0 across the room and stares at 3hat’s in his hands 3ith an e7hausted grin* He can’t he$ his actions 1ecause he is o2ercome 3ith this $ague 3e ca$$ addiction* He’s tired o4 resisting a$though he 0no3s it’s 1ad* He can’t $i2e 3ithout it5 he needs it* Is it his 4au$t6 or not8 Addiction is one o4 the most serious hea$th ro1$ems in the 9nited States* According to the Macmi$$ian Socia$ Science %i1rar!6 More than -/ mi$$ion Americans ha2e an addiction to drugs or a$coho$ :Ga$e6 -(1(;* The Nationa$ Institutes o4 Hea$th sa! that these addictions contri1ute to more than 1((6((( deaths er !ear in the 9nited States* Arguing in terms o4 mora$it!6 addiction is eas!6 e2er!one 0no3s that 1eing addicted to something is 1ad* Ho3e2er6 3hether it is a choice or a disease is 3here the contro2ers! ta0es $ace* &a$e Netherton argues6 <Addiction is a crutch 3ord that ma0es it easier 4or humans to dismiss their ersona$ res onsi1i$it! 4or choices< :Addiction Is a Choice6 Not a &isease6 -((=;* Others6 $i0e >e2in McCau$e!6 argue other3ise sa!ing ?We can e7 $ain e2er!thing a1out addiction 3ithout ha2ing to resort to causa$ 2aria1$es $i0e @1ad choices@ or @addict ersona$it!A :Addiction Is a &isease6 Not a Choice6 -((=;* I 3ou$d ha2e to side 3ith McCau$e! and sa! Bes6 addiction is a disease* Ceo $e tend to ut 4au$t and 1$ame on others 3ho are addicted* The! thin0 that it is their 4au$t and that it can easi$! 1e treated* ?Man! Americans toda! do not !et understand 3h! eo $e

AMERICA’S WORST NIGHTMARE / 1ecome addicted to drugs or ho3 remar0a1$e scienti4ic ad2ances are $itera$$! rede4ining the arena o4 addictionA6 notes Nora &* #o$0o36 M*&*6 &irector o4 the Nationa$ Institute on &rug A1use :NI&A;* In toda!’s 3or$d addiction is understood to 1e a 1rain disease 1ecause scienti4ic research sho3s that a$coho$ and drugs can actua$$! change the 1rains structure and 4unction* There4ore6 ma0ing it e7treme$! di44icu$t to thin0 and 1e a$ert in the right mindset* 'rain imaging science ma0es it ossi1$e to see inside the 1rain o4 an addicted erson and high$ight the arts o4 the 1rain 3hich are a44ected 1! a1usi2e drugs* &oing so ro2ides 0no3$edge that 3i$$ ena1$e the de2e$o ment o4 ne3 3a!s o4 re2ention and treatment o4 addiction* <Addiction is a disease D a treata1$e disease D and it needs to 1e understoodA :#o$0o36 -((E6 *1.)1E; What is a disease8 According to the enc!c$o edia6 ?A disease is a term 4or an! condition that im airs the norma$ 4unctioning o4 an organism or 1od!A :Enc!c$o edia6 -((-;* Consider heart disease6 it is art$! due to oor $i4e st!$e choices such as 1ad diet6 $ac0 o4 e7ercise and smo0ing* Same goes 4or dia1etes or cancer5 1oth ha2e to dea$ 3ith genes and one’s $i4est!$e* McCau$e!’s :-((=; stud! 4ound the 4o$$o3ing: &rugs 3or0 in the mid1rain* This is not the art o4 the 1rain that hand$es mora$it!6 ersona$it!6 socia$it!6 or conscious choice* That ta0es $ace in the cere1ra$ corte7* The mid1rain is the $im1ic6 re4$e7i2e6 unconscious sur2i2a$ 1rain* We 1e$ie2e that the corte7 shou$d 1e a1$e to o2ercome the $i1idina$ im u$ses o4 the mid1rain* Norma$$! that@s e7act$! 3hat ha ens* 'ut in addiction6 a de4ect occurs at a $e2e$ o4 1rain rocessing 4ar ear$ier than cortica$ rocessing* The mid1rain 1ecomes 1igger than the corte7* :Addiction Is a &isease6 Not a Choice6 -((=; This rocess is o12ious$! a$tered and the norma$ 4unction is im aired causing a disease $ocated in the a1users 1rain*

AMERICA’S WORST NIGHTMARE . &rugs are chemica$s* The! 3or0 on the 1rain 1! ta ing into the 1rain’s communication s!stem and messing u the 3a! ce$$s norma$$! send6 recei2e6 and rocess in4ormation* At this oint !ou can no $onger act 4or !ourse$4* Ho3 do drugs roduce $easure8 The Nationa$ Institute on &rug A1use states that 3hen drugs direct$! target the 1rains re3ard s!stem6 the 1rain re$eases do amine6 a neurotransmitter 3hich dea$s 3ith emotion6 mo2ement6 moti2ation6 and 4ee$ings o4 $easure :NI&A6 -(1(;* 'ased on m! readings and research I ha2e 4ound that !our 1rain adFusts to the o2er3he$ming amount o4 do amine 1! roducing $ess do amine* As a resu$t6 do amine’s im act on the a1users 1rain signi4icant$! $o3ers and the a1i$it! to e7 erience an! $easure is reduced* This is 3h! the a1user e2entua$$! 4ee$s $i4e$ess and de ressed a4ter ta0ing man! drugs* At this oint ho3e2er6 it is a$read! too $ate* The $ine is crossed 4rom the norma$ drug)using or drug) a1using 1rain to the drug)addicted 1rain* The mind and 1od! ha2e 1ecome addicted to the su1stance and is no3 a44ected 1! the addiction disease* Not on$! is addiction a serious disease6 1ut it is a$so a genetic disease 3hich can 1e assed do3n 4rom generation to generation* Gor e7am $e6 i4 !our 4ather is an addict6 !ou are more $i0e$! to 1ecome addicted than someone 3ho does not ossess these genes* 'eing 2er! care4u$ and rudent on the use o4 drugs and a$coho$ shou$d 1e c$ose$! considered 4or those 3ho ma! 1e a44ected 3ith such genes* A stud! 4rom the Nationa$ Institute o4 &rug A1use indicates that as much as ha$4 o4 an indi2idua$@s ris0 o4 1ecoming addicted to nicotine6 a$coho$6 or other drugs de ends on his or her genes* :Genetics: The '$ue rint o4 Hea$th and &isease6 -((H; 'ecause drug addiction is t! ica$$! a chronic disorder characteriIed 1! occasiona$ re$a ses6 a short)term6 one)time treatment is usua$$! not su44icient :NI&A;* Most atients reJuire $ong term or re eated care to achie2e sustained a1stinence and reco2er their $i2es* There are

AMERICA’S WORST NIGHTMARE K 2arious t! es o4 medication 3hich can 1e ta0en to treat such addictions* Medications are an im ortant e$ement o4 treatment 4or man! atients6 es ecia$$! 3hen com1ined 3ith counse$ing and other 1eha2iora$ thera ies. Man! treatment rograms inc$ude 1oth indi2idua$ and grou thera ies* The im ortance o4 grou thera ! 3ou$d 1e 4or moti2ation6 su 1eha2iora$ tendencies that he$ a1stinence and a non drug using $i4est!$e* 'e4ore this research I 3as caught in 1et3een the t3o sides* I 4igured that addiction 3as a$$ a choice and that it cou$d easi$! 1e cured* Ho3e2er6 the choices 3ere made 1e4ore the addiction 3hich ma0es addiction not a choice 1ut a conseJuentia$ disease 3hich too0 $ace due to oor choices* Once !ou are addicted6 that’s it5 !ou no3 su44er 3ith a disease* Bour 1rain is a$tered and it is uncontro$$a1$e 3ithout di$igent e44ort and he$ * A$$ 4orms o4 addiction 4a$$ under the same categor!* Whether its drugs6 a$coho$6 ornogra h! or an!thing e$se 3hich is addicti2e it is a disease and it can 1e cured* Gor the sa0e o4 a$$ our 4riends6 acJuaintances6 and 4ami$! mem1ers 3ho ma! 1e su44ering 3ith this disease6 I as0 that !ou 3ou$d not contri1ute to the Fudgments $aced u on them as e2i$ or 1ad eo $e* %i0e mentioned ear$ier6 addiction it’s a com1ination o4 genes and a 4e3 1ad choices $i0e other diseases such as heart disease and dia1etes* Recent studies ha2e ro2en time and time again that addiction is c$ear$!6 and in rea$it! a disease* M! research has he$ ed me understand and has rein4orced m! testimon! to remain a1stinent* To a$$ those 3ho ha2e an addict in the 4ami$! and 1ecause o4 good choices !ou are not addicted6 I encourage !ou to sta! a3a! 4rom such su1stances so that !ou do not 4a$$ into this disease6 as 3e$$* As 4or "ohnn!6 it’s too $ate* It is no $onger his 4au$t5 he cannot contro$ the a1norma$ 4unctions and im airments o4 his 1rain* ort6 and to en4orce

AMERICA’S WORST NIGHTMARE + Re4erences <Addiction*< Current Issues: Macmi$$an Socia$ Science %i1rar!* &etroit: Ga$e6 -(1(*O #ie3 oints In Conte7t* Enc!c$o edia ?&iseaseA htt :,,333*enc!c$o edia*com,to ic,disease*as 7 McCau$e!6 >e2in T* <Addiction Is a &isease6 Not a Choice*< Addiction* Ed* Christina Gisanic0* &etroit: Greenha2en Cress6 -((=* O osing #ie3 oints* R t* 4rom <Is Addiction Rea$$! a &isease8< Te7as 'ar "ourna$ :"u$! -((.;* O osing #ie3 oints In Conte7t* Nationa$ Institute on &rug A1use* ?&rugs and the 'rainA :Ho3 &o &rugs Wor0 In The 'rain August -(1(; htt :,,333*druga1use*go2, u1$ications,science)addiction,drugs)1rain
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/genetics-addiction

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Netherton6 &a$e* <Addiction Is a Choice6 Not a &isease*< Addiction* Ed* Christina Gisanic0* &etroit: Greenha2en Cress6 -((=* O osing #ie3 oints* R t* 4rom <It@s Not Addiction6 It@s Choice*< American Chronic$e* -((E* 1).* O osing #ie3 oints In Conte7t*

Nora &* #o$0o3 *Retrie2ed 4rom NIH Med$ine C$us6 The MagaIine: :The Science o4 Addiction: &rugs6 'rains6 and 'eha2ior6 -((E; htt :,,333*n$m*nih*go2,med$ine $us,magaIine,issues,s ring(E,artic$es,s ring(E g1.) 1E*htm$