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Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 936

Essay

There is a growing population of individuals who are affected by drug and alcohol addiction.  The need for one more fix or one more drink consumes them until it is no longer a personal choice.  There are many theories as to the cause and effects of this. Understanding the severity of this addiction requires a closer look at the dependency.  Alcohol and drug abuse is a growing issue that negatively affects the nervous system, sensory input, and behavior of individuals.

It is important to consider the causes associated with this condition.  Essentially heredity is a contributing factor in drug and alcohol addiction.   This is directly associated with the environmental contribution to this dependency as well.  “So when considering the impact our psychological makeup plays in drug addiction and alcoholism – our psychological makeup is largely formed in our formative childhood years – mostly from our family environment, particularly our parents.” (Peter 1) Ones environment walks hand-in-hand with personal heredity.  For example, a person who grows in a house with a father who drinks excessively every day can blame their alcoholism on both environment and heredity.

The brain and nervous system are both affected by addiction.  Different drugs have different effects on the brain. “Drugs are chemicals. They work in the brain by tapping into the brain’s communication system and interfering with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. “(Drugs, Brain, and Behavior 1) There are three main effects those drugs have on the central nervous system.  That is a depressant, stimulant, and hallucinogens.  Depressants are the type of drugs that slow down the functions of the central nervous system. This drug affects the concentration and coordination part of the central nervous system.  Stimulants take action on the central nervous system to speed up the messages to and from the brain. This drug affects the aggression and paranoia part of the nervous system.  Hallucinogens are drugs that affect perception. The part of the nervous system that this drug impairs is the emotional and psychological feelings.

Sensory input can be altered by drug and alcohol addiction.  It can control the internal sensory like the heart rate and body temperate.  Both drugs and alcohol can cause and increase or decrease to these.  External sensory are sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, and balance.  The external sensory inputs are affected just as much as the internal.  Often when impaired, balance is not at its best point.  Touch, smell, and sound are distorted.  The sensory input is directly affected by drug and alcohol use.

There are typical symptoms associated with drug and alcohol addiction.  According to HelpGuide.org one needs to watch out for the following:

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance.
  • You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms.
  • You’ve lost control over your drug use.
  • Your life revolves around drug use.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy
  • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. (Drug Abuse and Addiction)

Recognizing these symptoms is an important part of understanding the addiction.  There are other symptoms that could surface, depending on the type and severity of the addiction, but these are the typical signs to be aware of.

Drug and alcohol addiction can have a very negative impact on the user’s relationships.  The individual who is using often neglect responsibilities, this includes people and obligations. It can lead to unnecessary fighting and animosity between partners, friends, coworkers, and even bosses.  The loss of rational thought processing creates an environment for trouble.  Funding a personal habit can be quite expensive as well, which could cost a financial strain on relationships as well.  There is also a higher concern with drugs or alcohol than building relationships of any type.

Group behavior can be affected by drug and alcohol addiction as well.  In a negative way, it can lead others down the negative dependency path as well.  It’s almost like follow the leader, a member of the group needs a fix and the others do as well.  On the positive side, typically rehabilitation with drug and alcohol addiction takes place in group as well.  The members listen to the troubles that individuals are having and offer a supporting atmosphere.  Group behavior can be both good and bad depending on which side of the addiction it is.

Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction can vary depending on the person and the severity of the disease.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Medication and behavioral therapy, especially when combined, are important elements of an overall therapeutic process that often begins with detoxification, followed by treatment and relapse prevention. Easing withdrawal symptoms can be important in the initiation of treatment; preventing relapse is necessary for maintaining its effects.” (Drug Facts) Having a change in environment and a strong support group is important for the treatment to be successful as well.

Alcohol and drug abuse is a growing issue that negatively affects the nervous system, sensory input, and behavior of individuals.  This addition can be directly attributed to heredity and environmental factors.  Drugs and alcohol can have a negative effect on the brain and the nervous system.   Knowing the symptoms of this addiction will make it easier to determine if there is really a problem.  There is treatment available for drug and alcohol addiction.  Understanding the problem is a big part of reaching a solution.

Works Cited:

Peter, Carl. “Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Causes: The Hereditary and Genetic Influence”. Health Journal Online. 2010. Web. 2 Nov. 2012.

“Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction”. National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2010. Web. 2 Nov. 2012.

“Drug Abuse and Addiction”.  HelpGuide.org. Web. 2 Nov. 2012.

“Drug Facts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction”. National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2010. Web. 2 Nov. 2012

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