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Is Addiction a Disease Essay

  • Submitted by: CarolineDuncan1
  • on April 3, 2014
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 2,148 words

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

“Addiction is the biggest preventable killer in the UK” (Action on Addiction 2014), with an estimated “two million people fighting addiction” on a daily basis (NHS Choices 2014). It has a detrimental and destructive impact on addicts, families, communities and society as a whole. As shown in a large quantity of previous and current research, there are opposing arguments and stances as to whether addiction is a disease or choice. Discussing and analysing these two conflicting perspectives and methodically analysing some of the existing literature regarding the cause of addiction, shall also be undertaken. In this essay, an attempt will be made to defend the view that addiction is in fact a disease, but that there are also other extrinsic and intrinsic factors that are the causation of addiction. There are lots of models of addiction that have transpired but the three that will be looked at in depth, are the social learning theory, disease and the bio-psycho- social models.   Alcohol addiction (alcoholism) is defined as a physical or mental dependency to alcohol (Gifford 2010, Houpt 2010). It is a major public health problem and the cause of about “4% of the global burden of disease” (World Medical Association 2014). With this in mind, alcoholism will be the chosen addiction referred to throughout this essay. A lot of progress has been made regarding the concept and understanding of addiction, with the definition of addiction continuously evolving.
The definition of alcoholism has been debated well, for over two hundred years, with what constitutes alcoholism having diverse connotations. Nevertheless, some consensus about the nature of alcoholism does exist within society, that it is the repeated use of alcohol leading to some kind of harm (Heather and Robertson, 1997:125).   The first prevalent rise of alcoholism occurred during the industrial revolution, when rural dwellers moved into urban slums looking for work and their lifestyle and informal social controls they...

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