Instructor Kay Ryan
College Writing I/9 a.m.
08 October 2012
Addiction is a Disease
Why is it when someone is diagnosed with cancer others are concerned and feel horrible, however, when someone is diagnosed with an addiction to drugs they are faced with alienation and ridicule? It seems so, because, people know that cancer is a disease that has been studied and researched for many while drug addiction has not. Individuals who abuse drugs are affected by physiological changes that occur in the brain, unfortunately these changes lead to addiction and should be treated as the disease it is and not as if it is a choice. Addiction as a disease of the brain occurs in the midbrain. The midbrain is our unconscious survival brain. It handles all the body’s amoral, limbic, and reflexive unconscious jobs. For example, when you become aware that you are hungry, the midbrain is at work. You do not question if you are hungry you simply get something to eat and the feeling of hunger goes away. Disease is an illness in general, or a particular destructive process in an organism (Webster’s 188). An addiction is a chronic and compulsive dependence on a substance. What exactly midbrain and its functions are; amoral, limbic, unconscious.-Drugs work in the midbrain. The midbrain is the reflexive, limbic, amoral, unconscious survival part of the brain. This is not the part of the brain that handles personality, morality or conscious choice. That processing takes place in the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is supposed to be able to overcome the overwhelming impulses of the midbrain. But in addiction, a defect occurs and the midbrain becomes bigger than the cortex and then therefore it takes over. Brain changes over time make it hard for one to maintain self-control. An initial physiological effect of the brain after an individual starts taking drugs. Drugs have chemicals that flow into the brains communication system, once these...
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