The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 1999, 01, 1 (pages: 9 - 12)

Heroin Addiction as normal illness

Tagliamonte A.

Summary: History teaches us how difficult it is to challenge some axioms that are rooted in common culture, even when they are not supported by scientifically indisputable evidence. The two most famous examples of controversial scientific novelty were the Copernican theory and the theory of evolution. Do analogous mechanisms underlie the refusal of behaviour disorder, i.e. psychiatric disease or drug addiction, as a biological phenomenon? Man, it is said, was created by God in his own image and likeness, and God gave him a soul; according to this view, it must be the soul that is responsible for his behaviour. With increasing precision, modern psychobiology is succeeding in correlating specific aspects of animal and human behaviour with definite brain areas, and with the neurotransmitters that are located in them. Various behaviours have a clear genetic basis, but particular genes take part in organizing each behaviour; similarly, various neurotransmitters in specific brain areas interact, so causing a given form of behaviour. Psychiatric disturbances, including drug addiction, are leaving the limbo of approximation or even of utopianism, to enter into the scientific dimension of medical empiricism


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