ADDICTION IS CHARACTERIZED BY COMPULSIVE USE, LOSS OF CONTROL OVER USE, AND CONTINUED USE DESPITE CONSEQUENCES
Is Addiction Really a
Definition of Addiction:
Addiction is a disease that is characterized by compulsive use, loss of control over use, and continued use in spite of adverse consequences. The disease is chronic and progressive and potentially fatal if not treated. The disease is also incurable, but it may be brought into a state of remission through abstinence and a rigorous program of supported recovery.
Some phenomenon’s of Addiction:
1. Loss of control
3. Persistent drug use despite negative consequences
Addiction is a Brain Disease
Some Aspects of Addiction:
The addict continues to insistence that they do not have a problem. It has been said that alcoholics and addicts are incapable of seeing the consequences of their addiction. This is why a professionally led Intervention is the best tool for initiating change and for getting an addict to accept treatment and recovery. Another form of denial is recognizing that there is a problem but nothing can be done about it. Again, professionally led Intervention can successfully confront this excuse.
Alcohol and some drugs form physical dependence in the addict and the addict will need to be detoxed safely. This is different from Psychological dependence which is also part of Addiction and can be in conjunction with Physical Dependence or seen by itself without Physical Dependence. Together or separately does not define Addiction, it only defines detox and steps taken to withdraw the Addict safely from the substance(s). Drugs that require medically assited Detox:
• Alcohol & Sedative/Hypnotics
• Benzodiazepines – Xanax, Valium, Ativan Klonopin etc..
• Sleeping Pills – Restoril, Ambien, Lunesta
Codependency and Enabling: (See Addiction Care Management)
Characteristics of Codependency
Following are some characteristics of codependency that affect the objectivity of the codependent family member(s). Your struggle affects my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving your problems/relieving your pain. My mental attention is focused on protecting you. I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel. My fear of your anger determines what I say or do. I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship. My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you.
The quality of my life is in relation to the quality of yours. Enabling
When someone has codependent feelings about the active addict, they become fearful around them and in confronting them. Often times parents may feel it is better to let a child who is acting out with drugs or alcohol stay in the house because at least they know where they are. This is an example of enabling. Enabling can be the biggest deterrent to an addict seeking or
getting help. Enabling allows the addict to keep using despite the consequences by shielding them from those consequences. The enabler will say that they are only trying to help when in fact what they are doing is masking their own feelings of fear or guilt. The enabler needs to confront their own feelings around the addict so that they can successfully take part in a professional intervention to help their loved one, friend or coworker. 1st Step Interventions has the experience in helping individuals work thru codependency and enabling.
Is Addiction Really a
1st Step Interventions and Addiction Care Management have been started to aide in the Battle against Addiction, 1st Step Addictions is one of if not the best Intervention Service in the United States and certainly Northern California. With a 95% success rate it is extremely successful at helping getting the Addict to accept the loving help of Treatment.
Addiction Care Management was started because Treatment has a horrible success rate of only 10% remaining sober in the first year after Treatment. Addiction Care Management was started as a Service to help the Patient and to Educate and help the Family stop being Co Dependent and Enabling the Addict
Choice VS Disease
The addicted brain is different than the normal brain
(it’s not just alcohol or drugs anymore . . .
The Drug becomes Survival at the level of the unconscious . .
What makes the addicted brain fundamentally different from the normal brain?
You are not going to like this
Stress: The Casual agent in Addiction
We all face stress, Yes….
But we don’t all:
- Face the dame severity of stress
- Face the same pattern of stress
- Have the functioning coping mechanisms
- Come to the table with the same brain
Stress changes the physiology of the midbrain and as a result the person who is predetermined to be an Addict has their dopamine system affected in a negative way. Dopamine mediates the experience of pleasure. The Dopamine System changes in conditions of severe, chronic stress.
- The patient is no longer able to derive normal pleasure from those things that have been pleasurable in the past.
- This is because there are less Dopamine Receptors and less Dopamine.
Anhedonia: Pleasure “deafness”
- The patient is no longer able to derive normal pleasure from those things that have been pleasurable in the past
- When the Patient does alcohol or other drugs that spike Dopamine – the brain tells the Addict “ Don’t know what that was – but we need more of it. (This is all mood-altering drugs and alcohol do – spike dopamine levels.
It’s not that the addict doesn’t have “values”
- It’s that in the midst of survival panic
the addict cannot draw upon those values
to guide their behavior . . .
- The midbrain now reigns . . .
- And conscious thought becomes constricted.
The Dopamine surge causes the drug to be tagged as the new, #1 coping mechanism for all incoming stressors –
The Midbrain is a very area of the brain where the pleasure centers are and were we store the need for survival of the Human Race
Now that the midbrain has found what secures survival …… how does it motivate the individual to repeat that behavior?
Stress = Craving
Why the “Choice” argument fails
- It fails to take into account CRAVING
- It measures addiction only by the addict’s external behavior
- It ignores the suffering of the patient
- You don’t actually have to have drug use for the defective physiology of addiction to be active
- The addict cannot choose to not crave
It’s not that the addict doesn’t have “values” . . . It’s that in the midst of survival panic the addict cannot draw upon those values to guide their behavior . . .The midbrain now reigns . . . And conscious thought becomes