The rise of overdoses in New England indicate, heroin continues to be a plague of both desperate poverty and tortured privilege. The abuse of prescription drugs is an even more widespread problem.
But what causes addiction, allowing drug abuse flourish? Is addiction a disorder, a matter of human frailty or something else?
Here are 6 differing opinions on the topic:
“It is a disease and needs to be treated as such” –David Sack, a psychiatrist, is chief executive of Elements Behavioral Health.
“As with other problems, Class has a role.” –Carl L. Hart is an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University and the author of “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.”
“Bad habits can be learned and unlearned.” –Marc Lewis is a developmental neuroscientist and professor of developmental psychology at Radboud University in the Netherlands. He is the author of “Memoirs of an Addicted Brain,” about his years of drug addiction and how changes in brain function help explain addiction.
“A spiritual understanding is needed.” –Lisa Miller is the director of clinical psychology and of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
“No quick fix or simple approach will do.” –Peg O’Connor is professor of philosophy and gender, women and sexuality studies at Gustavus Adolphus College. She writes a blog for Psychology Today, Philosophy Stirred, Not Shaken Insights on Addiction and Philosophy.