Biology of Addiction by malj


									                       Biology of Addiction
                                                                      Eddie Cho, Adam Lewis.

                                                                        5th period, honors bio

      Addiction is very apparent in our society. Many people are forming new

addictions every day. Drugs and alcohol are the main thing that people get addicted

too. Unfortunately these are the most harmful things to your body. Most addictions

are bad, but a few can be good. Addiction has been associated with brain research

discoveries. Addiction is a term to describe doing over again compulsion by

individual to pursue in one activity(Revolutionhealth, 2006); usually it is harmful.

Addictions make people have negative personality traits, loss of other interests,

loss of job and repetitive relapsing, ending in death. The most common symptoms

of addictions are family complaints, leading to estrangement and eventually

divorce. Work problems including absenteeism, unpaid bills, personality changes

or gain or loss in weight(Revolutionhealth,2006). There are many difference types of

addictions. For example, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, cocaine, heroine and marijuana

are all addictive and are harmful. In reality you can be addicted to anything, it is an

urge triggered by something that makes you feel good.
        People who smoke cigarettes could become addicted. Mostly, in cigarettes,

the nicotine is the cause of addiction. The nicotine paralyses the Neurotransmitter

system. Symptoms of Nicotine addiction are headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea. It

can also cause cardiac failure, coma, and convulsions. Although smoking is not yet

illegal it is highly addictive and very harmful to your health. Nicotine addiction

could be genetic. Some people are more likely to succumb to nicotine addiction

than others. A mutation in a particular gene that slows the body’s ability to get rid

of nicotine is more likely to be found in non-smokers and light smokers. Hawes,


        Marijuana is the most used illegal drug. Called mostly by its numerous

street names like Mary Jane and chronic, it is smoked by new people about to get

addicted. Marijuana is smoked and is highly addictive, its sends a good feeling to

the brain and triggers endorphins. They are receptors in the brain the send a good

feeling throughout the body. ( NIDA, 2008)

        Cocaine is one addiction that is common in the inner city. This drug is not

native to the United States. It is a very power stimulant drug; it stimulates the

brain which causes it to want more. Cocaine can be dissolved in water and injected

or snorted through the nose. ( NIDA, 2008)
        The drug Heroin is very strong, and highly addictive. Heroin is processed

from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the

Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. It is heated

with water and then injected. All over the USA people are heroin addicts and have

problems quitting.( NIDA, 2008)

      Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism), this is most common addiction in the

world. Alcoholism causes gastritis, telangiectasis, and hypertrophy of the heart,

kidney and liver problems. The two causes are clarified. The biological (genetic)

cause and another one is mental cause. Research shows that people who have

parents addicted by alcohol have the ability to be addicted more than who doesn’t

have parents addicted. Also their drink capacity was remarkably high(Segeall, 2008).

According to research in Korea, alcohol addiction brings mortality rates of humans

up three times of normal person. The alcohol addiction is one of the common

addictions which brings many complications and causes of harm to the human

body (Weed, 2008).

      Eating addictions are much different than eating disorders. Eating disorders

are when you have a problem with the way you look or the way you feel so you eat

or become malnourished. Addictions happen when you like the taste or the feel

you get from something and you compulsively eat. (Abrams, 2003)
      Addiction has been related with brain reward systems. 1954, in Canada, two

professors set the experiment that when rats touch the lever; give an impetus to

some parts of brain. Thereupon rats touched the lever again and again until they

got exhausted. At this time, the part of brain that given an impetus is brain reward

system. There is dopamine and caudate nucleus. (Segeall, 2008) In this instance and

many others it can be helpful, but mostly it is harmful. Steps need to be taken to

solve this problem. It can happen to anyone, if you find yourself compulsively

doing something you may be addicted.


      In our town what do you think is the main cause of addiction? Why?

      Most people that have addictions are addicted to alcohol. Why do you think

they chose this over other substances?

      If marijuana and other drugs got legalized do you think the rate of addiction

would go up or down and why?

      What influence do you think causes the most addictions and why?

      What are ways to prevent addictions? How would they work?
        As young people in the society what drug do you think is the most addicting

and why?


Abrams, Michael. "Biology of... Addiction." Discover Magazine. May 2003: 17. MAPS. MAPS.
Chicago, ILLINOIS. 13 Apr. 2008 <>.

Hawes, Jennifer B. "The Biology of Addiction." MUSC 13 Apr. 2008

"Addictions an Overview." Revolutionhealth.13 Apr. 2008

"Addiction." NIDA 10 Apr. 2008 <>.

Weed, Christopher M. "The Biology of Addiction." Alcohol Answers 5 Apr. 2008

Segeall, Michael. "Big Mystery: What Causes Addiction." MSNBC 8 Apr. 2008

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