Essay on Is Substance Addiction A Brain Disease?

1162 Words Aug 3rd, 2016 null Page
WebMD defines substance addiction as the “chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the drug addict and those around them. Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain”. (Goldberg 2014) While the actual physical state of dependence on both legal and illegal substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine is a mental disorder and a disease of the brain, what causes an individual to begin this long, harmful decline into the dark depths of addiction and abuse? There are two major arguments in the case of the root causes of one’s susceptibility towards substance abuse; whether it is due to biological or environmental factors. This is the basic nature versus nurture argument; one of the oldest arguments in modern sociology and psychology. While many scientists today argue that substance abuse is entirely dependent on an individual’s genetic composition, without the influential cultural and social factors along with the socialization experiences that trigger the onset of the usage of these dangerous narcotics, one is left with nothing more than a simple biological predisposition towards addiction without the environmental catalysts necessary to inaugurate the condition. There are various mechanisms in which the cultural and environmental factors of a society impact the choices of the individuals it encompasses. Social…

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