Brain Science and Addiction

UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION AS A BRAIN DISEASE       

 "A core concept evolving with scientific advances over the past decade is that drug addiction is a disease that develops over time as a result of the initially voluntary behaviour of using drugs (Drugs include alcohol).

The High-Jacked BrainThe consequence is virtually uncontrollable, compulsive drug (includes alcohol) craving, seeking and use that interferes with, if not destroys, an individuals functioning in the family and in society. This (Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual) condition demands formal treatment.

We do not yet know all the relevant mechanisms, but the evidence suggests that those long-lasting brain changes are responsible for the distortions of cognitive and emotional functioning that characterize addicts, particularly including the compulsion to use drugs that is the essence of addiction.

It is as if  drugs have high-jacked the brain's natural motivational control circuits, resulting in drug use becoming the sole or at least the top, motivational priority for the individual." - ALAN I. LESHNER, MD in "Addiction is Brain Disease"

The High-Jacked Brain           

 

 Recovery

Because addiction is a complex bio-behavioural disorder whose development and expression depend heavily on social context, addiction treatment inevitably has many different components. The symptoms of this brain disease go beyond simply using a lot of drugs/alcohol. Addiction has diverse medical, behavioural and social consequences that effect one's ability to function virtually in every life domain. Thus, the target outcome for treatment cannot be just reducing drug/alcohol use; it must be restoring the individual to full functioning in the family, at work and in society.

Recovery from an addiction involves the reversing of these biological, psychological and social processes. Just because addiction is a brain disease does not mean the addict is a hapless victim. In fact addiction, for the most part, is a created disease. Addiction begins with the voluntary behaviour of using drugs/alcohol (or involvement in other processes) and the addicted person must participate in and take some significant responsibility for their recovery.

 This is what we can help with.

 

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Invictus

“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be
For my Unconquerable Soul.
 
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
 
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade.
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
 
It matters not how strait the gate.
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul
 
-William Ernest Henley-
 
"Courage is the decision that something is more important than fear!"

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