Addiction is a chronic disease affecting brain motivation, memory, reward and other related circuitry. This affects the interactions and the neurotransmission within the reward structure within the brain. Addiction is characterized by lack of capability to abstain consistently, behavioral control impairment, craving, emotional response dysfunction and reduced recognition of substantial problems. The engagement in addictive behaviors and the way one responds to the exposures and stressors determines whether one will be addicted. Addiction can be either substance related or non-substance related and just like any other chronic disease, it involves of remissions and relapse thus it is necessary to engage in recovery activities and treatment to avoid its progression that would result in disability or even premature death in some cases.

Substance related and non-substance related addiction

            Substance related addiction involves continued repetition in use of drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, caffeine, inhalants and cocaine among others. Whenever the drugs are used, they activate the reward system of the brain which is responsible for behaviors reinforcement and memory production. The normal activities are then neglected whenever the reward system is intensely activated producing feeling of pleasure. The brain changes result in harmful and mostly self-destructive behaviors. According to Diagnostic and Statistical of Mental Disorder, substance addiction is manifested within a 12-month period whenever; the substance is regularly taken in bigger sums or over a more extended period than was planned, there is a determined longing or unsuccessful push to chop down or control utilization of the substance, a lot of time is spent in exercises important to acquire the substance, utilize the substance, or recuperate from the effects it causes, longing for, or a powerful urge or desire to utilize the substance, intermittent utilization of the substance bringing about an inability to satisfy real part commitments at work, school, or home, continued utilization of the substance regardless of having intermittent social or relational issues brought about or exacerbated by the impacts of its utilization, vital social, word related, or recreational exercises are diminished as a result of utilization of the substance, intermittent utilization of the substance in circumstances in which it is physically dangerous and utilization of the substance is proceeded in spite of information of having a persevering or intermittent physical or mental issue that is probably going to have been brought about by the substance use.

Non-substance related addiction involves dependence on behaviors other than substance which include food addiction, gambling, sexual, work and internet addiction among others. These behavioral addictions have inducing and reinforcing characteristics that enhance the promotion of the addictive activities. Unlike in substance addiction, behavioral addictions lack physical signs but psychopathologies exist such as depression and anxiety. During the addictive phase, one may engage in fantasy and arousal manipulation in such of satisfaction. Stopping such behaviors is difficult since the individual lacks awareness on what triggers the behavior and the behavior becomes automatic which becomes even harder to control.

Variance of addiction substances

            Addiction can occur to individuals that will experience the addiction once in their lifetime, those that experience multiple addiction and those that experience substitute addiction whereby one addiction occurs trying to replace an already terminated addiction. Various individuals differ in functioning when exposed to these substances. Addiction can be facilitated by various factors such as supply of object of addiction, being aware of the supply, having acquisition skills and means of exchange.

Drug distribution point environment serves as the supply for drug as the object of addiction. Availability in objects of addictions tends to change which either increases or reduces chances of acquiring the addictive behaviors. Exposure to drugs or certain behaviors serves as awareness enhancer. Word of mouth and web sites provide information relevant to addiction to substance. Most people addicted usually start by experimenting what they heard from friends or saw on internet. Advertisements also serves as avenues to creating awareness to substance abuse indicating where to purchase the product. Having skills on how to acquire the object of addiction facilitate addiction. Individuals requires to converse with those possessing the objects of addiction such as drugs or sex and thereafter offer money or service as a means of exchange in return to the object of exchange.

Effect of addiction to individual, family and society

            Addiction to substance has an extreme effect on the person, those nearest to them and the society. Substance related addiction harms users physically making them weak, disoriented and weakening their immune system thus prone to other diseases. while behavioral addiction psychologically affects them through causing trauma, low self-esteem and discomfort.  In the United States alone, substance addictions cost the administration more than 200 billion USD every year. These expenses can be credited to ailment, crime, domestic violence, accidents, work misfortune, and vagrancy.

Substance abuse results one in four death and leads to various financial and social outcomes. A substance dependence declines an individual’s physical and mental prosperity. Ordinarily, an individual will lose their occupation and their family, bringing about managing support from society. Families of those addicted experience a lot. As a rule, they are subjected to abusive behavior at home, violence and monetary battles. Kids in this sort of condition are at hazard for expulsion from the home and put into state guardianship. The cost of placing kids into state guardianship is roughly 1 billion USD every year.

Addiction to substance contributes to emotional instability as individuals are unable to control their feelings. These emotions can be damaging if not checked. Health institutions are to a great degree exhausted. Almost 25% of cash spent by Medicare is on inpatient treatment that is related directly to substance dependence. About 80% of detainees imprisoned since 1985 are there as a result of a drug addiction related offense. This is making the jails in the United States be overpopulated. Inside the jail, 70% of prisoners are involved in abuse of drugs. Truck drivers and even therapeutic staff have substance addictions. There have been quite a number of accidents have resulted due to impairment of driver under substance abuse during occurrence. This causes wounds and fatalities, as well as immense cost damage. Many specialists that are blamed for negligence likewise have a substance dependence.

Effects addictive substance or other addictions on neurobiology and physiology

            Earlier, addictions were viewed as character flaws but today they are clearly understood as chronic illnesses shown by impairments in social function, health and deliberate control over the substance usage. Every single addictive substance affect the mind. These impacts represent the euphoric or seriously pleasurable emotions that individuals encounter amid their underlying utilization of various substances, and these sentiments propel individuals to utilize them over and over, notwithstanding the dangers for noteworthy damages. Progressive changes occurs in the brain which end up compromising the proper functioning of the brain and enhance it to transit from controlled to which is difficult to control.

The changes in brain bear long even after an individual quits utilizing substances. They may show continued, occasional longing for the substance that can prompt relapse. More than 60% of individuals treated for substance addiction encounter backslide with the same year they get released from treatment and the risk for relapse can remain for many years. Certain factors determines whether individual using a substance will proceed to addiction include, genetic makeup, age , psychological factors and environmental factors such as financial resources, drugs availability and exposure to stress. Some of the factors increases the risk of busing the drugs.

The brain is composed of three main parts that are involved during substance addiction. They include, the extended amygdala, the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia control the fulfilling, or pleasurable, impacts of substance utilization and are likewise in charge of the development of periodic substance taking. The expanded amygdala is included in stress and the sentiments of unease, uneasiness, and touchiness that regularly go with substance withdrawal. The prefrontal cortex is included in official capacity such the capacity to sort out considerations and exercises, tasks prioritization, oversee time including applying control over substance use. For some individuals, introductory substance utilize includes a component of impulsivity, or acting without premonition or respect for the outcomes. Whenever the experience becomes pleasurable, this inclination decidedly strengthens the substance utilize, making the individual more prone to take the substance once more.

When the addictive substance is in body system, it affects the neuroplasticity mechanism responsible for memory and learning. These substance hijack the mechanism in reward system enabling the motivation to be geared towards accessing the drug rather the natural rewards Addiction also affect neurogenesis, development of new neurons in adults, as a result of exposure to drug substance.

Role of family systems on the addictive process

Whenever there is a substance addict in the family system, the family regularly adjusts to the individual by going up against parts that help lessen stress, manage vulnerability, and enable the family to work inside the insanity and dread made by the addiction. There is an issue while assuming these roles. While they have a tendency to lessen stress, they don’t decrease uneasiness. Rather, they permit the addict to proceed in his or her conduct. The patterns are created for survival, such that the relatives trust lessen the anxiety included into the family framework. The accompanying are parts that relatives regularly go up against in these connections.

The Enabler – is a relative who ventures in and ensures protection of the addict. The inspiration for this may not be simply to secure the addict, but rather to avert shame, lessen uneasiness, evade struggle or keep up some control over a troublesome circumstance. The Enabler may attempt to tidy up the wrecks brought about by the addict and rationalize him or her, in this way limiting the results of dependence on substance. The Hero – is a relative who endeavors to draw consideration far from the addict by exceeding expectations, performing admirably and by being “unrealistic.” The Hero has an expectation that by one means or another his or her conduct will help the addict to quit substance dependence.

The Scapegoat – is a relative who makes different issues and worries with a specific end goal to divert attention far from the main problem. The Lost Child – is a relative who has all the earmarks of being overlooking the issue totally. There could be fighting and shouting battles and the Lost Child will be segregated from the circumstance. The Mascot –utilizes funniness as a way to escape from the agony of the issues created by compulsion. He or she will frequently carry on by “fooling around,” splitting jokes or downplaying difficult circumstances.


Since substance addiction and wrongdoing are inseparably interrelated, recognizing substance-mishandling addicts in the justice framework is a vital initial step for interceding in both their substance mishandle and their reprobate conduct. This will save a lot of lives, reduce crimes, reduce hospital congestion by reducing patients ailments related to substance addiction, save government revenue that cater for addicts, and enable production of viable generation having capacity to build the country positively. Government should introduce necessary measures and regulation in order to curb substance addiction and introduce rehabilitation centers. Careful monitoring should be done to already rehabilitated addict to avoid any case of relapse.


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Iacono, W.G., Malone, S.M., McGue, M. (2008).  Behavioral disinhibition and the development of early-onset addiction:  Common and specific influences. Annu.  Rev.  Clin.  Psychol.


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