Royce Evan F. Ruiz
Grade 10 – Einstein
A mini-thesis submitted to Ms. Gabriele Louise D. Recto
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.
Drug addiction is a problem that has been increasing immensely among our society today. Drug addictions can only hinder or restrain us from accomplishing goals or dreams in life. People sometimes feel they are too bright, too powerful, too much in control to become addictive. Addiction can trap anyone. It can lead to harming ones body, causing problems in family structure, and contribute to the delinquency in society. The sooner people seek help for drug addiction problems, the more chances they have of gaining control of their life once again. However, abstinence is the safest way to live a longer and healthier life.
We are greatly influenced by the people around us. Today one of the number one reasons of teenage drug usage is peer pressure. Peer pressure represents social influences that affect us. It can have a positive or a negative effect, depending on what path one follows. There is direct and indirect pressure that might influence a person’s decision in using drugs. Direct pressure might be when a person is offered to try drugs. Indirect pressure might be when a person is around people using drugs and sees that there is nothing wrong with using drugs. Adolescents who use drugs seek out peers who also use and, in turn, are influenced by those peers (Berndt, 1992). A person might also try drugs just to fit in a social group, even if the person had no intentions of using drugs. Adolescents can try out different roles and observe the reactions of their friends to their behavior and their appearance (Berndt, 1992).
There are also other reasons why people might turn to using drugs. Emotional distress, such as personal or family problems, having low self-esteem, like loosing a close one, loosing a job, or having no friends, and environmental stress are all possible factors to causing one to use drugs.
The action or process of making decisions, especially important ones. The thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options. When trying to make a good decision, a person must weight the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives. For effective decision making, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well, and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that particular situation.
Risk Factors for Drug Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction.
Causes of Drug Addiction
Like many other mental and physical health problems, multiple factors can and usually do contribute to drug addiction. The most frequently observed contributing causes of drug addiction include:
Genetics. How your body and brain react to a particular drug is in part determined by your inherited traits, those encoded by your genes. Those traits can speed up or slow down the way the disease of addiction develops.
Environment. Environmental factors, such as your access to healthcare, exposure to a peer group that tolerates or encourages drug abuse, your educational opportunities, the presence of drugs in your home, your beliefs and attitudes, and your family’s use of drugs are factors in the first use of drugs for most people, and whether that use escalates into addiction.
Changes in the Brain
Drug addiction often causes actual physical changes in the brain. Specifically, addiction alters the way the brain experiences pleasure, modifying certain nerve cells (neurons). Neurons communicate with each other and create moods and other sensations using chemicals called neurotransmitters, and drug addiction can change the way neurotransmitters work in the brain.
Historically, drug addiction and those suffering with it were maligned as morally weak people who made bad choices. This pure behavioral model, however, fails to account for the biological changes that addiction triggers in the body and brain. Furthermore, it overlooks the issue of comorbidity; many people who are addicted to drugs also suffer from mental health problems and use drugs to self-medicate for those problems.
Although the idea of drug addiction being a failure of will and sign of bad character is waning in most progressive areas of society, the idea does persist in many circles.