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Drug Addiction Is a Disease

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Pyae Phyo Thant Nyo

ESL 450

October 14, 2016

Drug Addiction is a disease

not a crime.

What is addiction? Addiction is being defined as becoming abnormally relies on something that is physically or psychologically habit-forming. There are various type of addiction in the world; drug, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine addiction are a few examples. It is very important to look at addiction in detail to determine their nature and discuss about the problems that could bring into all aspects of a person’s life. The signs of it are very clear and easily noticeable. Addiction begins by using drugs when a person decides to use drugs, however addiction is much more than using a lot of drugs. Many lives were destroyed because of the justice system that still see addiction as a crime.

Years of scientific research has shown that not only usage of drugs can create extreme pleasure and interfere with normal brain, they also have long-term effects on brain activity and its functions (Leshner, 2001). As time move on, changes take place in the brain by drug abuse can turn into addiction which is a relapsing illness. Those who addicted to drugs suffer from mental illness when they are craving for drugs and cannot stop by themselves. Addicts need help and treatment to end the addiction. Treatments such as needle exchanges are common all over the EU, as are "substitution treatment" programs, where users can exchange, say, a bag of heroin for a dose of methadone (Newsweek, 2001). However, diseases such as AIDS are spearing at alarming rate through the drug usages. Many youths are getting involved in the scene. According to Durcker (1995), especially through drug injection is directly responsible HIV’s rapid spread through some of the poorest communities of the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Brazil. AIDS is now a leading cause of death among young adults in each of these societies and addiction is well understood as the driving force of the global pandemic that already affects 120 countries. Addiction can be happened by different factors. Some people can have genetic characteristics predisposed, but it does not cause one to become addict (Leshner, 2001). People are not born with addiction in the same way babies are born with diabetes. A baby who has diabetes does not encouraged the disease while a drug addict makes the choice to do drugs.

A drug addict use drugs because he or she feels helpless and depressed, and with drugs, they think they can escape reality. For example, Sean is nineteen-year-old boy who lives with his mother and five sisters in a two-bedroom apartment. His father was a drug dealer who left them. Starting from the day, Sean had to take the responsibility of his sisters while his mother struggle to keep the family survive. He lives in a bad neighborhood where drugs and violence are used to in everyday life. He is force to take on a life filled with drug, crime and hardship. By becoming depressed, Sean started to think life has no meaning and feel hopeless. Overwhelmed by responsibilities and thoughts, he begins to look for a way to become happy and make his problems go away. So he began to experience with drugs, eventually his mind tells him to take drugs to survive but he does not realize that he has become mentally and physically addicted to drugs to cope with his feeling of helplessness. Putting the drug addicted in the cell will make it even worse however according to Phillips (1996), “Without putting them in jail, many of those offenders will relapse into drug use after release from custody and return to a lifestyle of crime. The report says it makes sense to consider the criminal justice system as a location for treatment because a large proportion of drug users come into contact at one time or another with some part of the system”. In addition, there are huge variations in the amounts and types of crime committed by various subgroups of the addict population (Nurco, 1987).

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