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Sabrina Slingwine
Microsoft Applications
25 February 2016
Addiction and Substance Abuse
Addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes compulsive drug
seeking and use. Addiction changes the way your brain is wired and shuts
down nerve cells that usually send, receive, and process information. Some
might call addiction a hijacker of the brain. Addiction is a family disease and
effects family and friendship relationships. Many things can cause a person
to start using and abusing drugs or other mind altering substances. There
are many ways to help someone recover from addiction. There are signs of
knowing if someone is struggling with addiction from the way they act to the
way they look.
What happens to your brain when you take drugs? The chemicals in
drugs tap into your brains communication system and disrupt the way the
way the nerve calls send, receive, and process normal information. Drugs
imitate the brains natural chemical messengers and over stimulate the
reward circuit. Drugs such as heroin send abnormal messages. Cocaine and
or methamphetamines can release large amounts of normal
neurotransmitters mainly dopamine. The brain washing in dopamine effects
normal activities such as movement, emotion, motivation, and pleasure.
(Nora D. Volkow)

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Addiction has a large effect on the family which makes it a family

disease rather than a personal disease. Addiction causes money problems
because addicts and alcoholics have been known to steal from family and
friends. Emotional stress addiction is not easy because it is a long process
because you are not sure what to expect. Therapy may be necessary. Legal
issues are common dealing with DUIs and drug possession charges. Your
loved one may separate themselves from you to hide what they are doing
leading to hate and resentment.
Many things can cause a person to become addicted to drugs or other
mind altering substances. Addicts are mistaken for people who have no
morals and lack willpower and that they can stop using just by changing their
behavior. Your genetic makeup can affect your addiction vulnerability such as
gender, ethnicity, and the preference of other mental disorders. The
environment you grow up in or live in and the people you surround yourself
with such as family and friends may also tribute to addiction. Peer pressure,
physical and sexual abuse, stress, and the quality of parenting have a great
deal with the likeliness of someone turning to drug addiction. Taking drugs at
any age can cause a person to become addicted. The younger you decide to
use the more likely you are to become addicted, because areas in the brain
are not fully developed.
There are many programs and rehab facilities that you can turn to for
help with addiction. First the person needs to want help and want to change
the way they are living their life. You need to be there for them to lean on

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and know that someone wants them to get better. Consider moving into a
sober living home where they provide safe living supportive place for getting
through your recovery. There is drug addiction meeting such as DAA drug
addicts anonymous or NA narcotics anonymous meeting with other addicts
who want to change their lives and get sober.
There is ways of knowing if someone is using drugs. From physical
appearance to the way they think and react to things. Someone may have
bloodshot eyes pupils larger or smaller than normal. Seeing a major
difference in their appearance from sudden weight loss. Not grooming
themselves like they used to. They drop the attendance at work or school.
Not being able to explain why they need money. A sudden change in how
much they hang out with friends and family.
Addiction is a serious disease and can happen to anyone. Even though
doing drugs is your choice many things can cause someone to turn to drugs.
Addiction ruins friendships and family because of how it makes a person
think. There is signs of knowing if someone you know and love is struggling
with drug addiction.

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Works Cited

Avram Goldstein, M.D. Addiction from biology to drug policy. New York: Oxford
University Press, Inc., 2001. Book.
Cunninghum, Jacob and Howard Padwa. Addiction A Reference encyclopidia. Santa
Barbara: Library Of Congress, 2010. Book.
Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "drugs, brains, and behavior: the science of addiction." july
2014. 23 febuary 2016.
Smith, Kayla. "Addiction And The Brain." 21 january 2016. 21 febuary 2016.
Tracy, Natasha. Addiction facts and statistics . 12 january 2012.