Name: Ashley Everett
Why Addiction Exists
The reason why we are in an addiction crisis is because of what our environment has created for us. We are surrounded by people who abuse either alcohol or drugs no matter how hard you try to stay away from it. Then as kids we were taught it was ok for adults to and it continues to go down in the family line. Back in the day everyone was smoking and drinking all the time. It was the norm, and it was the everyday lifestyle. Now a days it had became a problem where it is killing people younger and younger. Liver problems, heart problems, chest pains, lung problems. The list goes on and on and it needs to be stopped. Once they are addicted it is much harder to stop than start.
Adolescence can be a time when people make rash, irrational judgments. It can be a period of living in the moment, without regard for the potential consequences. As a result, many teenagers experiment with drugs and alcohol for the first time during this period. Before entering high school, the average age of substance use initiation is between 13 and 14 years old, between seventh and eighth grade. Faced with this reality, it’s a terrifying experience. It’s hard to believe that our children are adopting harmful, addictive habits at such a young age, especially when it’s happening right in front of our eyes. We want to believe it’s simply a blip on the radar. We want to blame our children’s early drug usage on experimentation or the other kids at school. The last thing we want to discover is that our children are in danger, or that our sons and daughters are to blame for their substance abuse.
After recently taking an addiction class, it has given me a bigger picture of how addiction works on our brains. Addiction is a learning disorder. It is a disorder because your brain learns certain cues and survival tactics for your body to survive while on drugs. Your brain has learned a new way of functioning throughout the day to feel normal. Your brain has learned to depend on the drug to do normal daily functions. Your brain has learned to receive that reward feeling from the release of dopamine from the prefrontal cortex in a new way. The neurotransmitters are passed to eventually create the encoded behaviors to obtain the reward. Using the mesolimbic pathways dopamine and nucleus accumbens are the engine that fuels the attainment of rewards. They are not trying to receive that rewarding feeling naturally. It’s a disorder because the person doesn’t even realize that their brain has learned/created a dependence on the drug. The only way to stop it is through special treatments of drug addictions. They don’t realize that the drug is slowly killing them until it’s too late.
Recovery is hard battle. It is an everyday battle. People who battle addiction claim that recovering from an addiction is the hardest thing you can ever do in your life. Imagine having an addiction to your favorite thing in the world but it is slowly killing you at the same time and you can’t do anything about it. You become so emotionally and physically dependent on it for the rest of your life if you don’t receive help. Addiction is a disease that affects the brain’s ability to process information. To comprehend addiction, you must first comprehend its language. Then how it grows and why addicts continue to use it despite the harmful causes. Addiction is a difficult sickness because it appears to make no sense to the outside observer and, at times, even to the addict. Addicts are prone to repeating their bad decisions because they do not absorb information appropriately. When it comes to using, all addicts have poor insight and judgment. It’s a symptom of the disease of addiction. In the end, everyone has the will power and idea of wanting to quit. The right person with the right helping hand will be the one to help you see the light again.