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the psychological significance of addiction (Essay Sample)

This written assignment will examine the psychological significance of addiction. Through the project, the student will explore the nature of addiction and examine the extent to which it can or cannot be applied to behaviors outside of drug use. Discuss the nature of drug dependency and addiction. It is important to include the concepts of tolerance, withdrawal, physical dependence, and psychological dependence. Also, discuss the various influences on drug use (including biological influences, psychological influences, and social influences). Considering this knowledge, can individuals become addicted to behaviors that do not involve drug use? For example, is it appropriate to say that people are addicted to pornography or video games? In the strictest psychological definition, the answer is no. However, many individuals feel that such behaviors do follow the same pattern as drug addiction and thus should be considered addictions, which would require a broader definition of the term addiction. State your viewpoint regarding this issue. Whether you agree or disagree with the idea that problem behaviors that do not involve drug use should be considered addictions, it is important to construct your argument in relation to the concepts of tolerance, withdrawal, physical dependence, and psychological dependence. Written Assignment #1 is worth 250 points or 25% of the final grade in the course. The project will be between 3-5 pages in length (not including title page or reference page). No outside sources are required for this written assignment. However, if the student feels that some would be appropriate, he/she is welcomed to use outside sources and site whatever sources are used. Written Assignment #1 is due on 9/18. All projects turned in from 9/19 to 9/25 will receive a 25% deduction. All projects turned in from 9/19 to 11/12 will receive a 50% deduction. No credit will be given for Written Assignment #1 after 11/12. source..
The psychological significance of addiction Course: Instructor: Date: Addiction has psychological significance as it often leads to dependence and causes compulsive behavior for the addicts. Drug addiction is the most prevalent form of addiction that affects people and it interferes with their daily activities and alters behavior of addicts. Even though, physical effects of addiction may be visible to people, the psychological effects of addiction are typically far worse and could lead to depressive moods and at times suicide. Drug addicts typically have withdrawal symptoms if they discontinue using drugs abruptly, but before reaching this stage there is dependence on substances as the addicts seem to get pleasure. Thus, over time addiction builds up as addicts seek to get more thrilled, but this creates a cycle of tolerance where the addicts seek more drug indulgence. Addiction affects the brain’s functions, and hence has a psychological effect on the addicts. In essence, this occurs because there is a change on how the brain responds after addiction to information received and processed. This may happen for substances that mimic the brain’s neurotransmitters, and at other times there may be an unusual effect of neurotransmitter when produced in excess and when they are damaged. Consequently, addicts seem to feel short term pleasure because of over stimulation of brain cells, brought about by miscommunication through neurotransmitters. As craving for drugs and other substances that cause addiction increases, so does the body’s ability to handle these drugs. Even though, addiction has different effects on people, in the short term it often impairs judgment. Addicts do not act rationally, and because addiction is compulsive they may harm themselves because their mental functions are impaired. Thus, addicts are likely to have suicidal thoughts and are irritable to people around them. Equally, in the long term, addicts have mental incapacitation that prevents them from performing fully. They also have poor social skills, and compounded with their mental distress people tend to avoid them. Addicts also engage in risky behavior because an of improper judgment, and with fewer inhibitions addicts may suffer more mental problems with long term drug abuse. Physical dependence Dependence and addiction are closely related, but addiction mostly affects behavior. On the other hand, physical dependence relates to the body’s adaptation to drugs after continued use over time. An abrupt stop or reduction in dosage of the drug triggers withdrawal symptoms and negative body reactions. Thus, the management of addiction requires gradual withdrawal of substances, to reduce the effects of withdrawal as the body is already adjusted to the effects of drugs. A person may have physical dependence on a drug or alcohol and is not an addict to that substance, but having physical dependence should not be a reason for one to avoid therapy and treatment. ...
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