Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

What Do Recent Statistics Say About Drug Use in the United States?

How much control do addicts have over their addiction?

Drug addiction is not a psychotic disorder. People are always aware of their drug use and of their choice to use. Thus, we cannot say addicted individuals have no choice and no control over their drug use. Nonetheless, it is important to realize that addiction changes the brain. In the most addictive drugs, the cravings are overwhelming and the ability to inhibit self-destructive behavior is very weak. This is because the parts of the brain that monitor behavior, employ social judgment, and inhibit harmful actions are significantly compromised at the same time that the reward system is on overdrive. Therefore, it is fair to say that addicted individuals have some control over their behavior but far, far less control than a non-addicted person.


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