Addiction definition essay

When a person thinks familiar thoughts or performs familiar actions, a vast number of synapses become activated in predictable — ie, habitual — configurations.

Definition Argument: What is Addiction? | Ea's Blog

Patterns of neural firing in one region become synchronised with patterns of firing in other regions, and that helps the participating synapses form these habitual configurations. Whether you call something a skill or a habit, it can become learned and entrenched only by virtue of repeating patterns of synaptic activation.

With each repetition, activated synapses become reinforced or strengthened due to modifications in the structure of each participating neuron , and alternative less used synapses become weakened or pruned. In fact, it is a principle far more general than that, as it applies to all natural complex systems, in which structure evolves and consolidates, without being programmed from outside. Cities stabilise. Cultures stabilise. Even family dynamics stabilise. Family arguments inevitably repeat the same infuriating script.

All living systems, from organisms to societies, ecosystems to brains, are complex systems. Most important, they are self-organising systems. That means that their structure, their shape and organisation, emerges from the interaction of many components that change each other over time. Those changes invoke a number of fascinating principles but, for our purposes, the most important feature of these systems is that they self-organise; their structure is self-perpetuating, due to recurrent interactions among their elements — little feedback loops.

An attractor is simply a stable state in a complex dynamic system. So: seeds grow into trees and then stabilise to an attractor: the tree acquires a shape. Birds fly in sync with each other and form a V-shaped or other-shaped flock. Ecosystems go through periods of massive change eg, speciation and species death and then stabilise. Complex systems are epitomised by elements such as individuals in a society or ecosystem, or cells in an organ or organism.

These elements continue to interact — they cause changes in each other, which cause further changes in each other, and so forth — until they arrive at stable states, at least for a while. We are talking about stability in a system that continues to grow and change — as all natural complex systems must do.

Complex systems such as us and our brains reach stability in a very different way from roller skates or billiard balls. They have not lost their energy; they continue to grow and develop, to live. Technically, this means that negative feedback rather than positive feedback now characterises system dynamics. At that point, we can say that the system has reached its attractor. Its components now interact in a way we might call self-reinforcing. The attractor idea is tremendously useful for describing the development of human habits, because human habits settle into place; they are not prescribed in advance by our genes, or determined by the environment.

But how exactly do attractors form in growing systems, why do they form, and why do they hold the system in place? Attractors are often portrayed as valleys or wells on a flat surface, that surface representing many possible states for the system to occupy. The system, the person, can then be seen as a marble rolling around on this surface of possibilities until it rolls into an attractor well.

Physicists will say that the system requires extra energy to push itself out of its attractor. The analogy in human development might be the effort people need to expend in order to shift out of a particular pattern of thinking or acting. In human development, normative achievements can be seen as attractors. These might include learning to be a competent language user, or falling in love and having kids. But individual personality development can also be described in terms of attractors — recognisable features that characterise the individual in a particular way, features that persist over time.

Addiction is just such an attractor. Addiction involves an intense relationship between a person and a substance or behaviour.

Should Addiction Be Considered a Disease or a Choi...

That relationship is itself a feedback loop that has reached the stage of self-reinforcement, and it is interconnected with other feedback loops that facilitate the addictive pattern. Most obviously, addiction is characterised by a strong desire to pursue a substance or behaviour. The substance or activity temporarily relieves the desire, but a negative emotional state is left in its wake, into which loss, disappointment and anxiety flow once the activity is finished or no longer satisfies — or once the drugs or booze are gone.

And so, desire builds once again. In this way, addiction perpetuates the need it was intended to satisfy and, through repetition, the addict learns to satisfy the need by getting more, doing more, thus further consolidating the learning — and the neural patterns underlying it. What fires together wires together. B rian taught in a community college in Cape Town, ran a successful business, and generally used his fine mind to good advantage. But the pileup of obligations and a mild attention-deficit problem saw him begin taking various stimulants to stay awake and clear-headed.

Within two years, he was smoking crystal meth several times per day. Sleep became sporadic and unpredictable. He could no longer think in straight lines, and fantastical whims soon replaced his customary rationality. His business fell apart, he moved in with his dealer, and his precious relationship with his young daughter turned into a parody of parenting, with him sneaking out to the car every hour or two for another hit.

Meth comes on strong and brings with it clarity, optimism and brilliant energy. With the first hints of loss, he would grab for his pipe, eager beyond reason for another launch into stratospheric relief.

Other interconnected feedback loops facilitate and consolidate addiction. They include social isolation, reinforced by the addiction, which leaves the addict with fewer opportunities to reconnect with people, or with healthier pleasures.

Thesis about Drug Addiction

Brian was a self-reflective guy; he knew how much he had lost. His ongoing self-destruction seemed almost a grim retaliation for his enormous loss of perspective. Addiction is about habit formation, brought on through recurring, self-reinforcing feedback loops. And although choice is not obliterated by addiction, it is much harder to break deep habits than shallow ones. With respect to mental health more generally, addiction can be seen as one member of a family of attractors. Depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders and other stable conditions are highly resilient despite their unpleasantness.

According to classical learning theories, rewarded behaviours proliferate, while behaviours leading to adverse consequences tend to be extinguished. Yet clearly this is not the guiding principle of personality development. Better Essays words 4 pages Preview. The first thing you should know is that this is not the end of the world, you should not be ashamed. By learning more about drug addiction and rehab treatment centers, you are demonstrating that you are well on your way to recovery Better Essays words 6.

The addiction usually takes place over time since they involve a process change and entails various predictors as well as different course. The term addiction has conventionally been used to identify self-destructive tendencies that may incorporate a pharmacological element. Individuals who become addicted to substances usually have numerous challenges and difficulties in altering and stopping these habits I support the argument that addiction is in fact a disease.

On a chemical level certain drugs can block receptor sites for neurotransmitters, which will then prompt the brain to create more sites thinking that it needs to make more sites for more neurotransmitters. This will leave a persons brain with too many open unnecessary receptor sites.

Addiction vs. misuse

Also some drugs can mimic certain neurotransmitters and fit into a receptor site and this is how your brain would make a person seem like they cannot live without that substance We always went to study together whenever we had free time. One thing that I noticed about him was he was really addicted to his phone. My friend, Fadzli was always with his phone wherever he went, even to the restroom. He seemed too excited of being with his phone. Plus, he sometimes ignored me as his attention was towards his phone. I was annoyed with his weird attitude.