Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Everything You Need To Know About Addiction

Lets Quit Abusing Drug Users

Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari

19-minute video clip about addiction and recovery reform from Dr. Carl Hart. He discusses drug use in the context of poverty, social injustice, and ignorance. An excellent video for generating discussion and one of the best TED Talks for addiction and policy reform.

Excerpt:Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University, offers a provocative, evidence-based view of addiction and discusses how it should impact drug policy.

If You Find Drug Paraphernalia On Them

Certain drugs require articles to compliment use like syringes, Cigarette wrapping papers, pipes, burnt spoons, lighters, razor blades, bongs , and cutting surfaces are all common types of paraphernalia that can be discovered. Apart from these, certain items like eye clearing wash is also an indirect indicator. Wondering why? Well, there are certain drugs that can cause dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes. People use the eye clearing wash to fix this issue. Though most people use eye wash, using it in an inordinate quantity could be an indicator.

What Happens To The Brain When A Person Takes Drugs

Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit,” causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.

As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drugan effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.

Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:

Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction.

Read Also: What Drug Is Most Addictive

Loss Of Interest Complacency And Apathy

Paying no heed to your daily responsibilities like skipping work, flunking classes, neglecting your family or children. Using drugs even in situations that require most of your attention . Relationship problems including regular fights with your partner and family members, and friends, even your colleagues, and superiors.

Is There A Link Between Ptsd And Addiction

Everything You Need to Know About Opioid Use Disorder

âIndividuals with PTSD are more likely to have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives compared to those who do not suffer from PTSD,â Mary Rorro, DO, a psychiatrist at the Department of Veterans Affairs, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

According to Rorro, some patients with PTSD may be at increased risk of self-medicating with alcohol to reduce/eliminate common PTSD symptoms such as:

  • Intrusive memories

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The Role Of Shame And Trauma In Addiction

Traumawhether emotional or physicalis a significant risk factor for addiction. Trauma overwhelms a persons capacity to cope and the effects can last for decades. The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and resulting challenges in health and well-being ever done.

The original ACE Study was conducted from 1995 to 1997. Thousands of children were studied, and the results found a strong correlation between exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors including the development of addiction.

Trauma can include experiencing fairly common events like divorce, surviving a bad car accident, or a natural disaster. Perhaps you grew up in a household with a mentally ill parent or a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol. Maybe you were raped or sexually assaulted.

All of these experiences have the potential to leave traumatic scarring. Trauma can leave its heartbreaking mark on the mind, heart, and body. One way to cope with the impact is through addiction.

Many clinicians find trauma to be common among those suffering from addiction, although the exact relationship of trauma to addiction is still unclear.

Trauma can impair the ability to self-regulate and to form healthy attachments. If you grew up with a parent who ignored or trivialized your needs, you learn that asking for help is dangerous.

The Dangers Of Video Game Addiction

Video games have been around for decades now and are a huge part of our culture. But what is the danger of being addicted to this?

Research on mental health and gamers has shown that there is a correlation between video games and addiction.

Video game addiction is not just about the amount of time you spend playing, its also about how it affects your life in general. You may feel like you need to play more to get the same feeling as before or that you cant stop playing even though you want to.

Your gaming may start to interfere with other things like school, work, or relationships.

There have been stories that have sadly ended up on the news due to video game addiction and the rage that are received when playing games for so long.

While video games and gaming culture is fine, just like anything else, they can get to a point where they can and will become dangerous to your physical and mental health.

Read Also: What Are The Three Stages Of Addiction

Everyone Has A Role In Prevention Find Yours Join Prevention Action Alliance

At Prevention Action Alliance, we are dedicated to leading healthy communities in the prevention of substance misuse and the promotion of mental health wellness. Were building a world where every community has access to high-quality prevention resources and where all know their role in prevention.

To build that world, we need your help. Everyone has a role in prevention. It takes a community to create safe and healthy environments for our children, and wed like to invite you to join the Prevention Action Alliance, whether youre a:

Find Your Purpose As An Addiction Counselor

Everything You Need to Know about Cocaine Addiction

Many substance abuse counselors feel a remarkable sense of purpose and satisfaction from helping people take hold of their lives after drug or alcohol dependence. Making a tangible difference in peoples lives day in and day out by becoming a substance abuse counselor could be exactly what youre looking for in a career.

Now that you know more about this role, you may be wondering how to proceed. If you havent yet earned your bachelors degree, you can start by pursuing aBA in Psychologyor aBA in Social Work. If youve already completed your undergraduate education, consider taking the next step byearning aMaster of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis on Professional Clinical Counseling.

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How Persuasive Design Creates The Potential For Online Addiction

A term youll see while researching online addiction is persuasive design. Its also sometimes called behavior design and is often used interchangeably with the term persuasive technology, although persuasive design was around long before the high-tech industry. But what exactly is it? A short definition of persuasive design is an area of design practice that focuses on influencing human behavior through the characteristics of a product or service.

To understand the importance of persuasive design in the high-tech industry, though, you must look at the investment Stanford University has made into it for nearly 30 years. Stanford University, located just six miles from Google headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley, is well known for attracting great engineering minds who study and perform research there and then go on to found or work for legendary high-tech companies like Google and Instagram. They are less known, however, for their vast influence over the Silicon Valley business model of using behavioral psychology to craft irresistible products that people simply must have.

I came to Stanford to study development, technology policy, innovation and entrepreneurship. Yes, I wanted to learn how Silicon Valley can be replicated and brought to other parts of the world including my home country Lithuania. I know many people have tried that without much of the luck, but I am young, fearless, highly motivated I am gonna succeed.

The Behavior of Organismssometimes

What Are The Treatment Options For Addiction

Successful approaches to addiction treatment vary greatly on the severity and nature of the addiction. Someone who has been abusing caffeine, marijuana, or tobacco may have an incredibly tough time quitting, but nonetheless succeed without medications or therapy. In contrast, heavy long-term alcohol or heroin abusers will need medically-supervised detoxification to safely stop using.

Broadly speaking, addiction treatment can draw on any of the following aspects:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Medications to help the person stay clean or sober
  • Behavioral approaches individual or group therapy
  • Peer support and strong community support


People who have been abusing alcohol, prescription and illicit opioids, benzodiazepines, or barbiturates daily over a prolonged period of time will almost certainly have developed a significant physical dependence on these substances.

They will require medical supervision, and often medications, to go through withdrawal safely. Inpatient rehab or hospitalization may be the safest setting for detox, but in some cases, addicts may be able to go through a medically-supervised detox at home.


Medications are now available to help people with many substance addictions get clean and stay there. Examples include:

Recovering addicts who become depressed, anxious, or suffer from other mental health struggles can further be prescribed adequate medications to help them manage these conditions.

Talk therapy

Recommended Reading: Signs Of Pain Killer Addiction

Great Leaders Do What Drug Addicts Do

An 19-minute talk from Michael Brody-Waite, entrepreneur and addict in recovery.

Excerpt:This is my story from drug addiction and homelessness to founding and leading a company on the Inc 500 list. There are 3 principles that saved me from death and set me apart as a leader. They are small enough to fit in your pocket, yet big enough to change your life. The best part is that anyone can take these principles and immediately implement them after watching this talk.

Rewriting The Story Of My Addiction

The Addiction Primer: Everything You Need to Know to Help a Loved One ...

10-minute video clip from Jo Harvey Weatherford about her personal recovery journey.

Excerpt:Jo Harvey Weatherford develops and implements drug and alcohol prevention programs on the campus of The University of Nevada. In this candid talk she discusses the importance of the stories we tell ourselves about our behavior, and how she rewrote her own story of addiction to alcohol.

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Some Key Indicators Of Online Addiction

  • Experiencing serious impacts on social, academic or professional life because of screen use
  • Experiencing strong and unpleasant reactions when the behavior is removed such as aggression or violence toward family members, committing self-harm, or committing property damage
  • Unable to stop the behavior on their own despite being dealt negative consequences and despite speaking at length about how problematic the behavior is

There are more indicators of online addiction and its important to note that these behaviors usually must be observed for up to a year before a diagnosis of addiction can be made. When working with teens and children, we rarely use the word addiction because children and teenagers lack impulse control and are simply unable to limit their digital media use without the help of a parent or guardian to set boundaries.

Form Friendships That Include People In And Out Of Recovery

Of course making friends who are also in recovery is important but some of these friends will relapse. Forming friendships with stable people outside of recovery will help to create a balanced life. Make time for family and long-term friends who understand what you have been through and are supportive of your new lifestyle.

Recommended Reading: What Are People Addicted To

What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Drug Abuse

There are many risk factors associated with drug abuse, including genetics, environment, and mental health. People who have family members with addiction are more likely to develop an addiction themselves. Those who come from chaotic or abusive homes are also at increased risk. There is no single cause of substance abuse. Rather, it is the result of a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors.

Certain genetic risk factors have been identified that may make individuals more susceptible to developing a substance use disorder. For example, people with certain variants of the genes that regulate the neurotransmitter dopamine are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. Additionally, individuals with a family history of substance abuse are more likely to develop an addiction themselves. While genetic risk factors cannot be changed, knowledge of these risk factors can help to identify people who may be at a higher risk for developing a substance use disorder. With early intervention and treatment, these individuals can receive the help they need to stay sober and avoid the damaging effects of addiction.

Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety can lead toself-medicating with drugs or alcohol, which can, in turn, lead to addiction. It is important to be aware of these risk factors so that you can seek help if you arestruggling with addiction.

Stop Telling Me Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong

“10 Things You Need to Know About Addiction”

You may have heard Johann Hari declare that everything we think we know about addiction is wrong in his Ted talk of the same name , or his Huffington post article ambitiously titled The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think. Hari emphasizes the need to move away from punishing individuals struggling with addiction and work on compassion and establishing meaningful human connections. Although this is a good message, the talk as a whole is deeply misguided, and filled with inaccurate, overly simplified and categorical information that is misleading. This is largely because Hari is a journalist by training and not a scientist or addiction specialist. Unfortunately he dismisses decades of important research into the neurobiological and genetic components of addiction .

The most surprising moment of Haris talk, however, is when he argues that if addiction was strongly rooted in biology, people who are given painkillers post-surgery or after an injury would become addicted you will have noticed if your grandmother had a hip replacement, she didnt come out as a junkie. You can only conclude that Johann Hari is clearly unfamiliar with the ongoing prescription opioid epidemic which in 2014 claimed the lives of nearly 20,000 people in the United States alone . This does not reflect well on Haris evaluation of the scientific literature, or his three and a half year, 30,000-mile journey to better understand addiction.

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Articles On Substance Abuse And Addiction

Substance abuse isn’t something you should take lightly. It occurs when you use alcohol, prescription medicine, and other legal and illegal substances too much or in the wrong way.

Substance abuse differs from addiction. Many people with substance abuse problems are able to quit or can change their unhealthy behavior. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease. It means you canât stop using even when your condition causes you harm.

There Is A Debate Around Whether It Is A Disease Or Not

If it is a disease, then youd also need to call anger a disease too. Even though there are measurable changes in brain chemistry with addiction, you have to keep in mind that we can measure changes for any mindset or repetitive pattern . Research supports the theory that addiction is a learned behavior, not a true disease.

What this means: Nobody with addiction is doomed. Just as it becomes a learned behavior, it can be unlearned. This more accurate understanding gives honest hope for anyone who gets the right guidance.

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Why Do Some People Get Addicted But Others Dont

Substance use alone doesnt cause addiction. Addiction is a complex illness that arises in a person based on their unique circumstances. These are the most commonly identified risk factors for addiction:

Biology: Scientific research has shown that 4060% of the likelihood that a person will develop addiction comes from genetics. This includes both a family history of the illness as well as epigenetics, which are “the effects environmental factors have on a person’s gene expression.” Plus, if you have a behavioral health disorder like depression or anxiety, your risk of addiction also increases.

Environment: Exposure to traumatic experiences has been shown to increase a person’s risk of developing a substance use disorder. These experiences could happen at school, at home, or out in the community.

Using drugs for the first time at a youngage can also increase addiction risk. Also, snorting or injecting drugs can increase the risk of becoming addicted to those drugs, due to the extreme way the drug is delivered into the body .

So, why do some people become addicted when others dont? Ultimately, the answer lies in a persons unique brain chemistry and lived experiences. Most people who develop addiction are looking to heal or soothe themselves in some way. Its crucial to understand why that is, and work to address it, as part of a persons treatment plan and journey to recovery.

How Does Addiction Start

Important things you need to know and understand about addiction and

Addiction can start through physical or mental means. Some people start using substances or addictive behaviors to numb or distract themselves from physiological or emotional pain. In these cases, the mental struggles come before the physical dependence.

Others start using substances in a recreational manner, which leads to physical and emotional dependence. Once the dependence develops, coping mechanisms which used to be strong are weakened and, even without the physical urges, the person turns to substances to cope.

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