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Mejia, Jessica (She/Her/Hers)
For this discussion, I decided to talk about the dangerous addiction to nicotine. Nicotine is a plant alkaloid, which means it’s a naturally occurring
chemical that contains nitrogen. It’s extremely harmful and highly addictive and studies from the American Psychological Association show that 16
percent of people over the age of 12 suffer from nicotine addiction. Most users tend to be teenagers and young adults and it had become normalized
to see young people smoking so much. According to the National Library of Medicine, Smoking addiction to a certain extent can be genetic, they said
“Twin and family studies have shown that there is not one specific gene that determines who will develop a smoking addiction but rather several
genes that cause an individual to become more susceptible to being addicted to nicotine. These genes are responsible for how certain
neurotransmitters are produced and metabolized, the number of receptors that are available to act on and how rapidly nicotine is metabolized by the
individual.” Like all addictive substances, withdrawal is likely to affect a person trying to quit. The National Institute of Drug Abuse says “Withdrawal
occurs as a result of dependence, when the body becomes used to having the drug in the system. Being without nicotine for too long can cause a
regular user to experience irritability, craving, depression, anxiety, cognitive and attention deficits, sleep disturbances, and increased appetite. These
withdrawal symptoms may begin within a few hours after the last cigarette, quickly driving people back to tobacco” There are multiple ways to quit
nicotine, most being support groups and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) to help support those suffering from withdrawal and help them stay clean.
the consequences of nicotine addiction in the future will be respiratory problems in those who smoked a lot when they were younger. Much of
what they use to smoke are disposable cigarettes, products like Juuls, puff bars, vapes, and more are not biodegradable, which can be awful news for
the environment. It will also create many people who are more irritable, dependent, and anxious people if they do not stop smoking nicotine. Those
who manage to quit smoking and stay clean will still have the aftermath of symptoms from smoking (depending on how much and how often they did)
but overall, not the greatest.
Lauren Bastow
An addictive substance that we encounter everyday is sugar. Sugar is an addictive substance and it is something we use everyday. This addiction is
not as known as drug addiction but is becoming more and more researched and prevalent. Having a sugar addiction is similar to having a drug
addiction and effects your brain in similar ways. Both food and drugs signal the reward part of our brain releasing dopamine which can lead to
repeating that habit becoming an addiction(Wiss et. AI, 2018). This is how sugar is addictive but how prevalent is it? Studies have been done and it
shows percentages in certain population having low food addiction of 5.4% but as high as 65%(Wiss et. AI, 2018). There are plenty of online
resources that help with sugar and food addiction but not necessarily a facility unless it is an eating disorder that is inhibiting your life. For example,
according to Harvard Health Publishing there are steps or certain measures to take to help break the addiction like keeping away from sugary foods,
sweeten foods only if needed, look at nutrition labels for added sugars and eating breakfast(“how to break…”, 2013). This can be very helpful but not
completely when this does affect so many people and just saying to stay away from something does not always work especially when it involves the
reward center of the brain. With the way food is being made and how much sugar is added to foods that you would not even know it would be in. I
believe with children being raised in such a sugar filled environment it will affect the amount of obesity and food disorders in the future. I believe it
will affect eating disorders and the overall health. Sugar is not a substance that is necessarily good for you and the overconsumption has lots of
negative aftermath. The way this could affect society could be increased health problems that lead to possible job loss or ability to perform certain
jobs and more.

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