Monday, March 23, 2020

Addiction Is a Disease free essay sample

Many people believe the misconception that an addiction is a moral problem and not a disease. To better understand the reasons why an additicition is in fact a disease; I will identify several types of addictions, and the problems associated with them. I will examine reasons why certain people are more susceptible for developing an addiction. Also, I will determine why many addicts deny their problems and many recovery methods addicts use to fight their illness. Researching these issues, will help aid my claim that addiction is a disease. Addictions can form from using mood altering drugs such as, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and caffeine, or behavioral processes as with gambling, eating, sex or shopping (Schwartz 21). Schwartz defines â€Å"An addiction, as is any process over which people are powerless, which leads them into behavior inconsistent with personal values, and which they are unwilling to give up, often at the expense of work, relationships or family. We will write a custom essay sample on Addiction Is a Disease or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page †(21) Behavioral processes, such as gambling, provide the brain with a sense of gratification, while ignoring the resulting consequences (Henderson 154). Psychologists compared the conditioning effects produced by a slot machine with similar conditioning experiments on animals. A slot machine may dispense a reward at unexpected times but a person will continue to use the machine even though a reward is not guaranteed. Animals that performed certain behaviors were given a reward at unforeseen intervals. Although, they were not always given a reward they continued the behavior in the lure of possibly receiving a reward. This test demonstrates that a specific behavioral response can be instilled into the brain, regardless of the subsequent outcome. Activities like gambling arouse the pleasure center of the brain by releasing dopamine (Friedman 29). Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that recognizes feelings of pleasure. The abundance of dopamine results in an over stimulation to the pleasure center of the brain, producing a euphoric effect and reinforces addicts to repeat the behavior. Cocaine, which is a stimulant, has been closely compared to gambling. It also stimulates the pleasure center of the brain. Without that stimulation, the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine are similar to those associated with gambling (Henderson 57). Cocaine and other mood altering drugs can release much more dopamine than natural experiences create (Friedman 169). When your mind indulges in a reward, it is not concerned whether it originates from a substance or an experience. Occasional use of drugs, alcohol and indulgent behaviors does not necessarily lead to addiction. It is important to understand underlying factors that may contribute to addiction. Psychiatric disorders, social factors and agent factors are just a few contributors to developing addictions (Henderson 122). Psychiatric disorders often coincide with addiction, which is often referred to as a â€Å"dual diagnosis†. Individuals with a psychiatric disorder such as depression or anxiety may be more prone to developing addiction problems. A survey referred to as Epidemiological Catchment Area or EPA was conducted to examine psychiatric disorders and how it correlates to addiction problems (Henderson 136). Households from several varying geographical locations participated and the results indicated individuals with psychiatric disorders were more likely to develop an addiction. Many addicts claim their addiction was the result of trying to self-medicate a psychiatric disorder. It is often difficult to determine if the psychiatric symptoms were present before the chemical addiction (Thombs 230). Results from the EPA study also concluded that a person with a substance addiction is at a higher risk of developing a psychiatric disorder (Henderson). Many people use alcohol or substances in social situations. Some individuals believe the use of a substance, such as alcohol, may sometimes improve social bonds (Coombs 232). They feel that being able to share the â€Å"intoxicated feeling† with someone else helps make communication easier. The difference between recreational use and addiction occurs when people need alcohol/drugs in order to socialize (Henderson 24). The addict may associate the substance with positive social experiences, â€Å"I finally felt like I could fit in and socialize. † (24) Another contributor to developing addiction is the agent factors; this is the likelihood that a particular substance will be abused. Some substances are less likely to be abused, and may not be as addictive as others. Agent factors also take into consideration how the substance enters the body (Henderson 19). For example, if a substance is taken orally, the drug is usually less addictive than a drug that is injected into the vein. An inhaled substance can be more addictive than both oral and injected forms. The chosen method of use pertains to how quickly a drug reaches the brain. An inhaled substance can reach the brain in seconds, where as an injected substance will travel around the bloodstream, taking a much longer time to reach the brain. When we look at these three factors, psychiatric, social and agent, we discover that a person’s morality is not the reason individuals are becoming addicted. The underlying factors that lead to addictions are much more complex. â€Å"Denial is a psychological defense mechanism that is found almost universally in people with addiction† (Henderson 2). Many addicts ignore detrimental consequences in order to continue using substances, or remain engaged in addictive behavioral processes. An addict may often not be able to admit they have problems, even to themselves (Berman and Siegel 57). Even when an addict is confronted by others about their addiction, the addict still fails to recognize their problem. Often an addiction may cause a person to blame their problems on someone else in an effort to divert attention away from their addiction. Custer and Milt demonstrate the power of denial by using the example of a smoker’s attitude towards smoking (123). A smoker is aware of the damaging effects of smoking and that it can cause heart disease, lung cancer and other severe health conditions. Research provides a vast amount of conclusive evidence supporting the negative consequences of smoking. A smoker’s addiction can be so strong that they choose to ignore the reality that they are exposing themselves to harmful conditions that could result in illness or death. They decide to ignore the research composed of the undisputable adverse consequences of smoking and tune out all negative information pertaining to smoking. They come up with an array of explanations as to why they should not quit smoking. Since denial is a defense mechanism imbedded in the brain, it is often difficult to admit that there is a problem. Helping addicts acknowledge their addiction is often difficult. There are several recovery methods that can be used to help overcome addiction. A few things that can help in the recovery process are medication, treatment centers, and support groups. Depending on the specific addiction, a variety of medications can be used to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. After the initial detoxification, anxiety or depression may persist, and an antidepressant may be prescribed to treat these symptoms (Henderson 121). Frequently, non habit forming medications such as Prozac, Tofranil or Perakote may be given to soothe the recovering addict. Medications can be used to prevent relapses, to block opiate/nicotine receptors and can help the recovery process. Treatment centers can be beneficial in several aspects. They can provide medical and psychiatric assistance. Also, they can provide a structured plan for recovery with strict guidelines. Treatment centers can introduce an addict to the twelve step program, aid in preventing relapse, and can act as a gateway to support groups. Although many people may believe addiction is a moral problem the research presented in this paper disputes that argument. Instead it most commonly is a disease that originates from psychiatric disorders, social factors and agent factors. Addiction is a disease like any other disease. Although it is not always possible to predict who the disease will affect, there are shared factors that make certain people more susceptible to the disease.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Affirmative Action And Its Effects Essays - Social Inequality

Affirmative Action And Its Effects Essays - Social Inequality Affirmative Action And Its Effects The roots of affirmative action can be traced back to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act where legislation redefined public and private behavior. The act states that to discriminate in private is legal, but anything regarding business or public discrimination is illegal (Affirmative 13). There are two instances when opposing affirmative action might seem the wrong thing to do. Even these two cases don't justify the use of affirmative action. First is the nobility of the cause to help others. Second, affirmative action was a great starter for equality in the work place. The most promanite variable in deciding affirmative action as right or wrong, is whether or not society is going to treat people as groups or individuals. Affirmative action is a question of morals. The simplicity to form two morals that are both correct but conflicting is the reason for the division of our nation on affirmative action. Affirmative action is very noble when looking at who benefits from the outcom e. Take a closer look at affirmative action. The people that are involved and the damage it takes on our society surfaces many doubts. Taking a closer look also stirs up a question of nobility that needs to be answered before making a decision on affirmative action. Does affirmative action simply change who is discriminated against and makes it legal for the new discriminators? Coming from my point of view, the view of a white male, this is a serious question. One example of this came to my attention from Dave Shiflett who once worked at Rocky Mountain News wrote Rocky Mountain Hire. In this article he tells about a new hiring strategy used at the Denver news paper Rocky Mountain News. A memo was sent out stating, The job reviews of supervisors and others involved in hiring should address race and sex. Each review should have a hiring goal of at least half of our hires being women and at least half non-white (Shiflett 45). Lets put this strategy to work. We have ten positions to fil l, these positions can be filled following the above guidelines by hiring five black women. It can also be met by hiring five white women and five non-white men. Obviously to meet this goal successfully would mean to not hire a white male (Shiflett 45). I strongly disagree with my white fore fathers and society today who both address race and sex when hiring. Using a persons skin color in hiring is discrimination no matter how society looks at it. At St. Bonaventure University the potential for reverse discrimination became a reality. In May 1994, 22 faculty members were fired, all were male. The president of the university was very blunt about his motive, to protect the small number of women on the university staff (Magner 18). This was purely a discussion based on gender not qualification. No matter how efficient these men were some were fired for not being part of a certain minority. Gary A. Abraham, who was fired as a tenured associate professor stated, It seems ludicrous that t he university can rectify its failure to engage in affirmative action on the backs of its male faculty. Twelve of the men took their complaints to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The commission sided with the men and are even planning to bring the university up on charges themselves (Magner 18). Giving an employer the power to discriminate only towards minorities is unfair and unethical. Now the question is who will the government protect? Society can not consider its self fair when we are still forming decisions based upon gender or race. It is not noble to protect the jobs of women at Bonaventure University simply there are not enough women on the roster. We should protect the jobs of the experienced. We can not form a new society from affirmative action and believe the rights of all United States citizens will be upheld. The whole idea behind affirmative action is to right the wrongs of the past. Well, what about the individuals that were not even born when this a trocity of discrimination was going on. Society should not punish the youth for the