What is addiction and what does addict mean
- Addiction is a psychological and physical inability a chemical, drug, or activity despite the subsequent psychological and physical harm.
- More than 20 million people across nations are suffering from addiction. statically, One in seven people would encounter addiction towards something.
- Scientists start to begin to understand addiction as a “brain disorder” back in the 1950s. Dr.Olds and Dr.Milner _in laboratory studies of rats_ found the parts of the brain affected by addiction. But then in 1994, Dr.volkow and Dr.Schelbert _top neuroscientists_ ran PET scans of the brain that showed the function of defected tissues of the brain due to substance use.
The defected Brain parts:
first of all to understand what does addict mean. There are two main parts of the brain defected in the addiction process: the limbic system and the pre-frontal cortex.
1. The limbic system (located deep within the brain) is responsible for our survival insticts.
- when we do essential things to stay alive (such as: eat, drink, find shelter, have sex, or care for our young) our brain reinforces the behavior that causes the release of Dopamine from this region.
- The reward of surviving is also transmitted to the amygdala and hippocampus, which record a memory of that feeling, so we would seek it again.
2. The pre-frontal cortex ( located at the front part of the brain) is responsible for impulse control and decision-making.
- Using drugs or alcohol activates the same Dopamine pathway in the survival center. When is repeated, that substance can hijack that part of the brain; which weakens it’s survival system to make it believe that the primary need for survival is the drug.
- Because long term use, addicts tend to need higher doses of the drug to activate the same level of reward or feeling of pleasure. Therefore Leading to the brain tissue to become increasingly damaged with continued drug use.
Some false ideas about addiction:
- You don’t have to use drugs everyday.
- You could use drugs once a week or a month. It’s a problem only if whenever you use drugs, you sometimes have difficulties controlling it, and you continue to use despite negative consequences.
- You don’t have to have cravings.
- You don’t have to want a drink in the morning to mark yourself as addict.
- Some people think about using drugs all the time, others almost not at all. Some even don’t recognize their cravings till right before they relapse.
Causes of addiction:
Addiction is 50% due to genes, and 50% due to poor coping skills.
You can’t do anything about your genes. But you can change your coping skills.
There are two main categories of factors aiding in prevention, which are: risk factors, and protective factors.
The younger you are when exposed to drug use, the more susceptible you become an addict.
1. Parental involvement.
2. Programs that improves selfcontrt.
3. Limiting availability of drugs.
4. Increasing attachment to your community.
- Advancements have been made in assessments, treatment programs, recovery support, and medication to treat addiction.
- Brain scans show that once the recovery starts, the tissue in the limbic system and pre-frontal cortex can get better.