I need help writing an essay on the symptoms, causes, effects and cures of addiction to nicotine, alcohol, heroine and other drugs.This should be a compare and contrast essay.

Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, I will encourage you to use a scholarly database for your research on this essay, as Enotes answers can only be considered secondary sources.  The topic of "addiction," or "drugs and addiction" is one that is widely written and published about.  It will not be difficult to find online primary sources of information, published by doctors, scientists, and researchers in this field.  Secondly, due to the wide range of specifics in this question, I think you would best be served by an answer which helps you get started in how to organize, approach, and tie-together these various topics (your original question has been edited to reflect this, both to serve you better and to adhere to Enotes question and answer guidelines).

Step one is to gather ideas and start making lists.  My advice is to create a page (either on an open Microsoft Word document, or an actual hand-written piece of paper) for each of your sub-topics.  I would also quickly advise you to decide what "other drugs" you plan to look at, as this category left alone is far too vast to be able to include too many specifics.

Another note: as far as "cures" go, I assume you mean cure for an addiction, above.  As such, you are more likely to find information if you research "treatment" rather than "cure," as most experts tend to shy away from claiming a particular course of action as a cure.

As you research, make a plan to jot down at least five specific facts about each "drug" you are including in this paper.  These facts (or categories) should be the same for each drug.  Examples might include:

  1. a brief definition of what the drug actually is
  2. the most common immediate side effects
  3. the most common long term side effects
  4. is it physically or psychologically addictive?  or both?  and why?
  5. how is an addiction for this drug treated?

If you seek to answer each of these questions for each sub-topic you have listed, you will have very good information to begin organizing your paper.

The rest is up to you, but based on the facts you brainstorm, you will probably be able to tell which of these drugs have distinct similarities (under the parameters you have chosen) and how many.  My guess is that you could either begin or end with the similarities, and then devote a paragraph or two to explaining each drug in more detail, which would outline the differences.

The links below should provide a good place to start for your research, and also help you in the organization and writing of your essay.  Good luck.