Think volunteering, taking up a new sport or hobby, enrolling in a class, or spending time in nature hiking or camping, for example—anything that doesn’t generate a trigger to use. This will likely be the first of many conversations you’ll need to have regarding your loved one’s drug use. It may take several conversations for them to even acknowledge they have a problem, the first step on the road to recovery. Your loved one may become defensive or angry and refuse to discuss their drug use. Many people feel a sense of shame when confronted by their behavior and will try to deny they have a problem. Discovering someone you love has a drug problem can generate feelings of shock, fear, and anger, especially if it’s your child or teen who’s using.

is addiction a disease debate

One of their most common arguments shines light on social media addiction. As social media has become a staple in modern society, many people have become hooked on this growing trend. The constant barrage of perfectly filtered photos that appear on social network sites can also cause low self-esteem and disordered eating in young adults. Though many teens know that their peers share only their best pictures and moments on social media, it’s very difficult to avoid making comparisons. The ongoing exposure to unrealistic beauty standards through social networking sites can affect how teenagers perceive their own bodies. One study from the University of Pittsburgh found a correlation between time spent scrolling through social media apps and negative body image feedback.

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That marriage may be protective for drug abuse is consistent with his view that alternative sources of consequences for choices are crucial. The arts can be used in a variety of ways to address issues related to addiction. Art can be used as a form of therapy in the treatment of substance use disorders. Creative activities like painting, sculpting, music, and writing can help people express their feelings and experiences in safe and healthy ways.

He argues from cited research that about 30% of American adults have met diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence at some time in their lives. Examination of the research cited (Hasin, Stinson, Ogburn, & Grant, 2007; Stinson, Grant, Dawson, Ruan, Huang, & Saha, 2005) however, does not appear to support that estimate. Hasin et al., for example, report about 18% lifetime prevalence for abuse and 12% for dependence, two percentages that ought not to be summed.

Struggling With Social Media Addiction?

Similarly, it is implied that I do not acknowledge the role of biology in mediating drug effects. This implication ignores the first paragraph of my article, in which I state, “cocaine — and other recreational drugs — temporarily alters the functioning of specific neurons in the brains of all who ingest the drug”2. I have heard from hundreds of addicts who recoil at the notion that they have a life-long disease. Especially addicts who are determined – and successful – in galvanizing their willpower and rejigging their habits, their personal goals, and their capacity for self-control. Once they recover, as most addicts eventually do, it becomes confusing and debilitating to be told they are chronically ill. Recovered addicts want to feel that they have developed beyond their addiction and become better people as a result.

is addiction a disease debate

Name-calling, rumor-spreading, and harassment among adolescents has always happened, but social media presents young users more opportunities to do so than ever before. Teenage girls are at particular risk for cyberbullying through use of social media; however, boys are not immune. In addition to the implemented techniques of face-to-face bullying, the spreading and posting of non-consensual explicit pictures is a form of cyberbullying that has gained popularity within recent years. One quarter of teens say they have been sent explicit images they didn’t ask for, while 7% say someone has shared explicit images of them without their consent.

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Parents can also model good screentime self-control by limiting their own use. Cognitive behavioral therapy may also help for those who feel they need more intensive help. In addition to the heavy emotional costs, money problems can also mount for families of drug abusers.

Veterans are twice as likely as the general population to die from an opioid overdose, according to a study commissioned by the National Institutes of Health. Opioids, primarily fentanyl, are the leading cause of U.S. overdose deaths, which have roughly quadrupled over the last ten years for which data is fully available. In 2021, the death toll surged to 80,411, more than ten times the number of U.S. military service members killed in the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fentanyl and other opioids are fueling the worst drug crisis in the history of the United States.

What Is a Porn Addiction?

Many researchers consider video game addiction a behavioral addiction similar to gambling disorder, in which the rush of winning becomes one of the main reasons for playing. At some point, changes happen in the brain that can turn drug and alcohol abuse into addiction. Bedi et al. also state that I “set up a dichotomy between the social and the biological as mutually exclusive”1. I argued that there needs to be greater parity in the way we fund and think about drug addiction, pointing out that the ‘diseased brain’ perspective has outsized influence. An argument for a more pluralistic view of drug addiction does not exclude a role for neuroscience, as long as there are data justifying that role.

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