The Paw Print
Addiction. Some may be more prone to this than others, yet anyone can get addicted to just about anything. What is an addiction, we may ask? It’s the repeated use of a mood-altering substance whether it’s gambling, sex, drugs, or alcohol. People who are addicts do almost anything to get at whatever they are hooked to, which comes with serious complications. In Michael D. Lemonick’s article “When Your Brain Can’t Say No,” he talks about addiction and what part of the brain pushes the addiction on you.
Why do people become addicted to certain substances and actions? Most of the time, the individual deals with experiences in their lives with substance abuse. Lemonick focuses more so on alcoholism throughout the article, which is something I can relate too.
The reason I chose this article is not only because I have had experience with this addiction but because alcoholism is more widely understood as an addiction. Lemonick explains that addiction is not a moral failure but a disease. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is a group that helps combat people’s addictions. The program was founded by an ex-drunk and an active drunk. Even though this program has helped millions, it doesn’t work for everyone.
Many people try AA but then fail to stay away from their choice of poison because they remain with the same crowd. A big part of addiction is the influence of the individuals surrounding the addict. In Limerick’s article, he gives many examples of what happens to the brain when a person abuses certain things. The article shows us three images of a human brain in the process of recovering from cocaine. Some investigators have found out what goes wrong in an addict’s head.
They have found what part of the brain suffers and what neurotransmitters are out of balance. To counterattack this addiction, scientists are designing a pill that is able to ease the symptoms of addiction. Addiction does not affect all parts of the brain. The prefrontal cortex, for example, has been proven to show less activity compared to the brain’s reward system.
The prefrontal cortex includes our rational thoughts; this part of the brain overrides impulsive behavior. For some, it takes a while to overcome their addiction. But in order for the brain to fully start over, the brain must stay off their substance for ninety days.
Addiction is a problem for many people throughout the world. I believe that it is not possible to create a pill that will make all addictions disappear. The individual has to set attainable goals and stay true to them. Staying positive and strong-minded is huge when overcoming addiction. The individual must think of the pain and suffering they are inflicting not just on themselves, but their families and friends. It takes a strong person to admit their faults and overcome them.