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Madeleine Salvatore

Mr. Adam Padgett


ENGL 102
9/22/16
What is Addiction?
When first faced with the idea that I could research virtually anything that
interested me, my brain scattered in a million different directions. When it came time to
narrow down my potential research inquiries, I decided that I would be most likely to
enjoy and do well researching something that was important to me and that I was
genuinely interested in. This led me to anything involving addiction and the power it has
on the human body. The reason behind my interest in addiction is due to my familys
long line of struggle with addiction. Not only does my mothers side of the family have
addiction run straight down the line, but my fathers does as well. I have been personally
affected by addiction and am curious to know whether alcoholism is caused by a lack of
willpower or if it is a disease.

brain. It was explained in the article that when a person decides to experiment with drugs

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:40 PM


Comment [1]: I think we often write
about things that affect us closely, and those
kinds of topics tend to produce the best
writing.

initially, they dont plan on becoming addicted. The urge is too strong to control, even

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:40 PM


Comment [2]: When did this occur?

if you know the drug is causing harm. The problem with this is, although the addict

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:41 PM


Comment [3]: What article?

The National Institute of Drug Abuse identified addiction to be a disease of the

may believe they are in control of themselves and can fight the urge to take one more hit,
drugs alter the brain. They dramatically alter the way the human brain works. These
changes to the brain may also not be short-term. These brain changes can last for a long
time, the article stated. The point the National Institute of Drug Abuse was trying to

make was that sooner or later, it isnt uncommon for addiction to run a persons life to the
point where a drug may become more important than the need to eat or sleep. It is
evident that the National Institute of Drug Abuse is certain that addiction is a disease, the
same as any other illness one may be diagnosed with. Addiction can happen at any age,
but it usually starts when a person is young.

based on the American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization. These

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:45 PM


Comment [4]: Generally, try to follow up
quotes with analysis. In other words, you
should be doing something with quotes, as
opposed to just dropping them in.

criteria included: tolerance, withdrawal, limited control, negative consequences,

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:45 PM


Deleted: 3

Addictions and Recovery stated that addiction must meet at least three criteria

neglected or postponed activities, significant time or energy spent, and the desire to cut
down. The article then went on to explain the statistics related to addiction and affirmed
approximately 10% of any population is addicted to drugs or alcohol. The article was
based off a factual platform and presented a plethora of information including the feeling
associated with addiction, the cost, and the consequences. Addictions and Recovery

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:46 PM


Comment [5]: Interesting. How is the
article defining addiction?
Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:46 PM
Comment [6]: What does this mean?

believes the greatest damage done as a result of abusing drugs or alcohol is to ones self
esteem.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defined addiction as a primary,
chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Half the
probability that someone will become an addict is due to genetic factors. Culture also
plays a roll in how addiction becomes actualized in persons with biological
vulnerabilities to the development of addiction. Aside from the cultural influence
addiction has on a person, there are other influences in relation to the life a person leads
as an addict. Cognitive and emotional changes are inevitable to a person who is an
addict. There is a dysfunctional emotional state present in most cases of addiction that

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:47 PM


Comment [7]: This is interesting.

is associated with the persistence of engagement with addictive behaviors. The


American Society of Addiction Medicine is most interested in the factors leading up to a
person struggling with addiction and the results and consequences of living an addicted
lifestyle. The main standpoint of the article is that recovery from addiction is best
achieved through a combination of self-help, support from others with similar struggles,
and professional help.
After thoroughly reading these articles, I have found myself asking more
questions. Most importantly, what is addiction? What causes addiction in the first place?
What is the most effective way to treat addiction being that it is a disease like any other?
These questions will most likely not be able to be answered with a straightforward
answer that I can Google. That is why they are researchable. The answers to my
questions are going to have to be sought after and critically thought about. Many

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:49 PM


Comment [8]: This is interesting. Youve
done a good job summarizing this source. I
am left wondering how they are defining a
few of these terms, but you could elaborate
on this in future papers.
Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:50 PM
Comment [9]: This seems to be your most
worthwhile question, since there are a
variety of opinions on the answer.
Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:50 PM
Comment [10]: *Good* research doesnt
rely only on google.

viewpoints will be put into play as well, including alcoholism being caused by a lack of
willpower. However, these different perspectives will not affect my own being that I
have seen the effects of addiction on those close to me and I know there is a way to get
back on track. I do not believe addiction to be a curable disease, it can and has come
back at any time to those around me. However, I am going to seek out the knowledge to
inform me of the most effective way to change the lifestyle of an addict to one that has
meaning and purpose other than questioning where ones next hit is going to come from.
I want to know what factors lead up to addiction becoming a serious problem, how
addiction affects everyday life, and what addiction is as a whole.

Adam Padgett 10/6/2016 5:51 PM


Comment [11]: Very true. A common
misperception and misunderstanding of
addiction.

Madeleine,
Really great stuff here. I too have addiction in the family, so I totally get what youre
saying here. Youve done some productive reading and clearly have an interest in
addiction as a topic. Something you might want to do some looking into, for example, is
the efficacy of methadone clinics and out-patient rehabs. There is some serious
disagreement on the efficacy of a lot of treatment options. Also, I feel like Ive read
somewhere that something like even 80% of people who do in-patient rehab relapse
within their first year of sobriety. So this raises serious questions about how to treat
addiction. Good stuff here. looking forward to seeing how this develops.

https://easyread.drugabuse.gov/content/what-addiction (Article 1)
http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/what-is-addiction.htm (Article 2)
http://www.asam.org/quality-practice/definition-of-addiction (Article 3)