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Drug Addiction Essay

  • Submitted by: athenajenisek
  • on April 14, 2015
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,201 words

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Below is an essay on "Drug Addiction" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

1. Among the numerous definitions for addiction, there lies yet another to define it from a biochemical perspective. Milkman (1983) defines it as " self-induced changes in neurotransmitters result in social problem behaviors." This definition encompasses the psychological, biochemical and social aspects of addictive processes. It is not limited to substance abuse and can be applied to any activity characterized by compulsion, loss of control and continuation of the substance despite harm. This has helped investigators gain a better understanding of the nature of addiction. It has been shown that individuals turn to drugs that elicit a mood or level of arousal consistent with their mode of dealing with stress. Those who deal with stress by confrontation choose drug stimulants. Those who withdrawal from stress choose opiate drugs. Others who deal with stress through activities related to imagery or fantasy turn to hallucinogens. These differences between behavior and drug preference are thought to be biochemically driven. The basis for biochemical activity is the neurotransmitter, the mechanism by which signals or impulses are sent from one nerve cell to another. The more rapid the transmission through certain central nervous system (CNS) pathways, the more intense the feeling or state of arousal. Thus, the arousal-type person will seek activities or substances that will increase the rate of neurotransmission in the part of the brain responsible for that mood. Those individuals that indulge in thrill-seeking behavior, such as gambling or skydiving, will choose stimulants such as amphetamines. In contrast, those individuals who seek activities that decrease the rate of neurotransmitters, such as meditation, overeating or watching excessive television, will choose depressants such as barbiturates. Once a change in neurotransmitters is brought about, whether from an activity or from a substance, the brain attempts to reestablish the rate of neurotransmission that was...

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