Is Drug Addiction a Disease? - page 2

My daughter just asked me this question since she has a debate coming up with this topic for her Medical Sociology college class. It got me thinking :idea: ; and, I'm curious as to how others in our... Read More

  1. by   Ado Annie
    The guy who taught my psych class insisted that alcoholism and drug addiction do not qualify as diseases, and claims the US has failed because we keep defining them as such. Claims Europe doesn't, and has better success. Also thinks the "war on drugs" is a useless farce. I think he goes too far, but don't know what evidence he has to back up his claims RE: addiction is not a disease.
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    No, i do not agree that drug addiction is a disease.
  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yes it is a disease, but NO not an "excuse"! Having been personally affected by alcohol- addicted parents and others in my family, I can only say that much. I can't add to the words of our more savvy members before me.
  4. by   TazziRN
    Yes, it is a disease. Chemical dependency can be hereditary, therefore it is a medical/mental illness.

    Tazzi
    3-28-94
  5. by   HM2VikingRN
    Definitely a disease....
  6. by   sam56
    I have mixed feelings. I do believe it is a mental illness, but comparing it to heart disease or diabetes is a stretch. I have a couple of good friends who have been through treatment and taught me alot about spirituality. I work for an organization that employs most of the healthcare workers in a major city(6 hospitals, multiple clinics, etc.). Their policy is "a once in a lifetime treatment for any type of substance abuse". It seems pretty unbelieveable to me in this day and age especially with data that suggests people with substance abuse issues are prone to relapse. I would venture to guess my employer does NOT feel it is a disease.
  7. by   shellek
    addiction is a disease

    tolerance is not

    there is a difference

    addiction is when it affect your life, family, or performing daily activities

    tolerance is -well is just a level of needing more for the desired affect, which should not give a feeling of euphoria or interupt in daily living,or relationships
  8. by   subee
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    No, i do not agree that drug addiction is a disease.

    It is a disease of the MID-brain, not the cerebral cortex. You become addicted on an unconscious level. Therefore simply applying wll does not change things. The addicted brain looks different on a PET scan. Recovery shows identifiable changes on objective radiological scans. We're nurses and our 'tudes towards whether or not something is a disease should be based on SCIENCE - not what we learned in Sunday school, on the streets or from our families. Throw off the reigns of ignorance everybody and do the best for your patients. Even in the holding area, we can intervene on our addicts. The shopping addiction bone is connected to the gambling addiction bone which is connected to the drug addiction bone - its all physiologically linked together.
  9. by   NightOwl0624
    This is from NAMI concerning mental illness and substance abuse dual diagnosis:

    How often do people with severe mental illnesses also experience a co-occurring substance abuse problem?
    There is a lack of information on the numbers of people with co-occurring disorders, but research has shown the disorders are very common. According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):
    • Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.
    • Thirty-seven percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.
    • Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse either alcohol or drugs.
    The ECA Survey found that individuals with severe mental disorders were at significant risk for developing a substance use disorder during their lifetime. Specifically:
    • 47 percent of individuals with schizophrenia also had a substance abuse disorder (more than four times as likely as the general population).
    • 61 percent of individuals with bipolar disorder also had a substance abuse disorder (more than five times as likely as the general population).
    http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Sec...ontentID=23049
  10. by   5418ujyyhbewbttberbr
    I think of it more as an attempt to treat a disease. Drug addicts are really just trying to treat a large health issue...many times depression.
  11. by   cracilla
    this certainly makes a good point,i'd like to see the response of others on this topic which makes this interesting for reading.a step-by-step instructions on this could be very well appreciated, i think this is a great place to test out new ideas. in fact, i could get some real nuggets here that i'm going to use right away!

    drug-free addiction treatment: "stop addiction to sex, drugs, alcohol or even to the net",
    www.understanding-addiction.com
    www.stop-addictions-secrets.com
  12. by   subee
    Quote from 5418ujyyhbewbttberbr
    I think of it more as an attempt to treat a disease. Drug addicts are really just trying to treat a large health issue...many times depression.
    Fer sure, but for depressed people who resort to drugs AND they have the unlucky genes for addiction, the plastic changes in the brain become permenent. Most people don't get it that when they drink a depressant drug like alcohol, it only makes their depression worst. So never give up the ship when trying to get depressed patients into treatment.
  13. by   subee
    Quote from cracilla
    this certainly makes a good point,i'd like to see the response of others on this topic which makes this interesting for reading.a step-by-step instructions on this could be very well appreciated, i think this is a great place to test out new ideas. in fact, i could get some real nuggets here that i'm going to use right away!

    drug-free addiction treatment: "stop addiction to sex, drugs, alcohol or even to the net",
    www.understanding-addiction.com
    www.stop-addictions-secrets.com


    you are kidding, aren't you? these books belong with the breast enhancement ads. if you believe this, i have a self-help technique that will make you rich in 12 days.

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