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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
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Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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why shouldnt drug alcohol dependence be considered a brain ...

Customer Question

why shouldnt drug alcohol dependence be considered a brain disease?pls i need as many points aspossible because its for a debate.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Melissa replied 8 years ago.

Are you distinguishing between dependency and addiction here? I know you typed dependence, but it can be quite a separate thing from addiction, which most experts will agree IS a disease. Most addicts are dependant on a drug or medication (meaning the body needs it to function as it has been), but addiction involves the maladaptive behaviors that are considered a disease, such as over-indulgence, drug seeking, thinking about the substance constantly and how to obtain more, etc. On the other hand, a person in chronic pain may be dependant on an opiate drug simply because they've taken it for a long time, but not be addicted (they don't misuse the drug, or think about it 24/7 except for the purpose of relieving pain).

Addiction is a disease, while dependency might not necessarily be so. Is that your position you're debating, or are you wanting to argue that addiction is not a brain disease (in which case, I don't think I can help you, because I believe that it is... but someone else on the site might).