Essay Example on Drug Addiction: A Long-Term Mental Disorder

Paper Type:  Argumentative essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1909 Words
Date:  2023-03-12

Drug addiction refers to the extreme compulsion to acquire and use drug substances even if various harmful consequences may occur. More so, addiction is a mental disorder that changes the behavior and affects the brain of the users. Substances like illicit drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications, influence addiction development. Also, various drug use related organizations defined addiction as a relapsing and a long-term condition characterized by users spontaneously using and seeking drugs despite adverse effects. Addiction influences how the brain reacts to situations involving stress, reward, and self-control. Thus, the changes persist in the long-term even if the person stops using the drugs. This paper argues that drug addiction is a choice rather than a disease.

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Firstly, real disease influences the state of somebody parts to function abnormally physiologically, eventually causing undesirable symptoms. For instance, in diabetes, the body produces low insulin; hence, without proper intake of insulin results in physiological abnormality, which develops harmful symptoms. Therefore, people who have diabetes cannot directly choose to stop the deformity and the symptoms. But they can prevent the effects indirectly through the use of medical treatment. However, addiction is referred to as a disease due to the brain changes caused by the use of substances. But in reality, the changes in the brain are not abnormal; also, in spite of the addiction, people can directly choose to change their behavior (Kurti 229). Thus, explaining obsession to be a choose rather than a disease.

Drugs currently are found everywhere, and as it appears, everyone is using it. Drug addiction has become a critical matter in the current society, with controversy in the rate of its increase. In terms of drug addiction being a choice, it relates to being an issue of weak will. The drug users choose to try the first time a drug, and long-time addiction can result in physical and mental damage associated with psychological dependence. During recovery from an addiction, there is a possibility of relapsing. Most of the users of drugs use them to try to fill or cover up a space to avoid facing problems associated with life. Addicts continue to use the pills to avoid the repercussions of recovering entailing detoxification and other issues that arise, especially with the family. It causes them to go out of control both mentally and physically if they are not helped (Lewis 12).

The lapse of control includes the rejected feeling by the family or friends. For instance, someone feeling like an outcast, self-harm, suicide contemplation, and depression. There are horrific things that are associated with drug use, and addicts choose to use them to feel as they belong somewhere. They want because they think they have been pushed down and find means to forget about the issues because the friends and families refrain from helping them. Addiction can be termed as a matter of choice because of the addicted individual refrains from choosing to end the use of the drug. Addiction cannot be forced on a person. Self-medication is an approach to enable a person to improve themselves in terms of addiction. The find means of replacing an action or add other factors hoping it will provide a solution to recovery.

The function of the brain's hippocampus is to create a mental map of the environment and directional memories. A research was conducted to scan the brains of New York taxi drivers in comparison to non-taxi drivers. The results were different not only between non-drivers and drivers but also among the less experienced and experienced. Thus, the longer you drive in the streets of New York, the more the brain changes physically. Concerning drug abuse, the more you use drugs, the more the brain changes. Also, the more and longer people intensely dedicate themselves to any skill or activity, the more it will change their mind gradually. Then if we refer to addiction as a disease due to brain changes, the drivers will have a condition too of driving taxis, which is not logic. Thus, concluding the argument that addiction is not a disease but a choice of the person abusing the drugs (Orient 127).

Drug use is not involuntary, but it is a choice. No research proves that drug use is compulsive. We only receive reports from substance users who claim they cannot stop to use the drugs. Also, treatment professionals claim that drug user behavior is compulsive as a result of brain changes. In real sense, drug addicts can control their behavior, but what hinders them is the perception that substance use is the best option that brings happiness to them. However, if the drug users can see other rewarding options of happiness than substance use, eventually, they will choose those options over the drugs. Hence, they will not struggle to abstain the drugs, prevent relapse, or any other process to make a different choice. Therefore, through the use of appropriate methods and procedures, substance users can choose to stop taking the drugs without any medical assistance.

Furthermore, a disease entails physiological malfunction. In the case of drug users, the changes caused by the substance intake do not show the dysfunction of the brain. The changes from substance use are regular, just like those from anything we do intensively. Usually, brain changes frequently depending on how we think and behave, whereby the changes are not permanent. However, the brain changes caused by drug user behavior can change back to normal without any medication intervention after the voluntary user choose to change their behavior for a long-term period. Thus, proving the addiction is not a disease as no medical treatment is required to stop it (Orient 128).

In many cases of drug addiction get influenced by genetic factors. However, Heyman argues that the scientist assumes that instinctive behavior is due to genetic involvement. He later discusses experimental data of correlations in religious practices and values of identical twins raised apart, whereby there are no correlations between them. The evidence constitutes ethical behavior from genetic contributions. Similarly, activities in the brain occur differently from compulsive substance use. Thus, the evidence shows the involvement of neural in drug addiction, whereby brain activities do not influence drug use.

Scientist states that drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder that may occur to anyone. However, from my point of view, addiction is a result of moral failing and weak character. Many people argue that addiction should be considered as one of the vital diseases like cancer. While as in a real sense, those diseases are not regarded with shame and stigma as drug addiction is? Addiction is more complicated as it does not affect the physical body only, but it crushes the soul of the user. The obsession leads to irresponsible behavior whereby the addicted person gets shunned by friends and family members; eventually, the drug users are ashamed of their practice. Hence this evidence shows that individuals choose to be addictive due to poor judgment and lack of power to control struggles of life like stress (Lewis 17). Thus, drug users prefer to consume the substance, which eventually results in the addiction.

More so, addiction is a behavior that is intended by the person consuming the drug. Also, drug addicts usually monitor their consumption according to the various circumstance that influences them to use the drug. For instance, alcoholics plan ahead of the alcohol they will consume by carefully reflecting on their previous intake while preparing themselves for the next one. Because they are in control does not mean their decisions are wise as they can moderate their drinking. Hence, addiction is a choice, not a disease, as the users can choose how to use the substances depending on what stimulates them. Also, the users can moderate the use of drugs which enhance the addiction.

More so. The devastation of addiction usually combines with the user's life. It may be in the case of crime, poverty, and social isolation. Thus, it makes it hard to stop the consumption of the substance. Moreover, addicted people live in foster homes, with no property or money. Also, their connection to the world is minimal compared to healthy people. Hence, due to their living conditions makes it difficult to stop drug use. Do the circumstances make it a disease? Well, in the real sense, it does not. From my perception, I think it is a social problem has it involves poverty, dislocation, and also lack of proper care from society for the addicted people (Kurti 237). Therefore, due to all aspects of the addiction on the table, then it is not necessary to state that addiction is a disease.

More so, people that have an addiction to the substance have a chance of quitting. The quitting is n-influence by the desire to have family respect. Also, addiction entails a substantial compulsive property whereby drug use for a long-term period results in the change of psychological from impulsive to compulsion. Moreover, the brain changes due to the triggers caused by the craving to use the substance hence making it difficult due to neurological reasons to stop using the drug. Thus, addiction is not a disease but may be referred to as a compulsive disorder.

Addiction behavior works against the drug user's sense of empowerment. However, if someone has a specific disease, you are considered as a patient. Hence, to feel better, the patient must follow prescriptions from the doctor. In the case of addiction, the best way to stop is making personal decisions after setting appropriate goals for your life. Thus, self-development and self-perspective to set essential goals are critical to prevent the addiction menace.

Also, drug addicts do not like the effects of the excessive use of drugs. Nora argues that from his research that he did not come across to someone who loved the addiction effect. Therefore, it is true that users of substance do not choose to become addicted to the same case consumers of calories do not wish to be overweight. However, the users do not select addiction but the relief and momentary gratification from using drugs. Hence, each addict has a specific reason to start using and to quit drugs. Thus, acting due to a cause is referred to as a choose. Hence, addicted people can stop using the substance after choosing appropriate decisions that have various achievements in the future (Kurti 231). For instance, relationship and job opportunities.


In conclusion, many institutes and faculties have described addiction as a disease rather than a choice. However, from my argument above, I contrary disagree with this description and state that addiction is a choice and not a disease. Although habit influences the brain changes as an illness does, the chances of addiction are regular, just like those experienced when someone intensively dedicates their mind to a specific activity. Furthermore, addiction does not require treatment procedures from a medical officer. Instead, appropriate choices of the addicted person can result in the quitting of the drugs. Therefore, from these arguments, people should consider addiction as a choice. Hence, they should support the addicted people physiologically to fight the addition.

Works Cited

Kurti, Allison N., and Jesse Dallery. "Review of Heyman's addiction: a disorder of choice." Journal of applied behavior analysis 45.1 (2012): 229-240. Retrieved from

Lewis, Marc. "Addiction and the brain: development, not disease." Neuroethics 10.1 (2017): 7-18. Retrieved from

Orient, Jane M. "The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease." Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 22.4 (20...

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Essay Example on Drug Addiction: A Long-Term Mental Disorder. (2023, Mar 12). Retrieved from

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