Special Issues With Children Living In Substance Abusing Families
When children are part of a substance abusing family situation, the risks and concerns are greatly increased. Similar to maltreatment victims, who believe that their abuse is their fault, children of parents with substance abuse disorders often feel guilty and responsible for a parents substance use problem.
If children are living in a blended family where substance abuse by a step-parent is an issue, the substance abuse may undermine the step-parents ability to establish themselves as an authority figure within the family.-Rita MiliosChildren whose parents abuse illicit drugs live with the knowledge that their parents actions are illegal they may even be forced to engage in illegal activity themselves on their parents behalf.
If children are living in a blended family where substance abuse by a step-parent is an issue, the substance abuse may undermine the step-parents ability to establish themselves as an authority figure within the family. This can lead to difficulty in the step-parent forming bonds with their step-children. It may also impair the familys ability to address problems and sensitive issues.
What Is Neuroplasticity And What Role Does It Play In Addiction
Neuroplasticity is the brains natural ability to change its wiring patterns in response to life experience. When stimulated, nerve cells generate new tendrils of connection to other nerve cells, called synapses. All learning hinges on the brains capacity to form new nerve cell connections, and mental and behavioral flexibility is the hallmark of that capacity.
While neuroplasticity is the great liberator of the mind, allows people to learn languages and remember birthdays, and fuels the imagination, it has a dark side. The same process rewires the brain in response to using drugs of abusebut, under the influence of the unnaturally fast and large flood of dopamine released, the rewiring strengthens the desire for the drug, weakens judgment and control, and prunes away the capacity to be interested in other, more natural rewards. The capacity for neuroplasticity, however, also enables the brain to rewire itself more normally once drug usage is stopped.
The Negative Effects Of Addiction On Ones Life May Include:
- Relationship changes between both friends and family members
- Aggression toward friends and family members
- Suspension or expulsion from organized activities, such as sports teams
Addiction almost always harms the users personal and professional life. Mood swings can become unpredictable and hard to control, and other health issues such as chronic fatigue can make it hard to function in many facets of society.
Also worth noting is most addicted individuals have to lie and steal in order to continue their substance usage. Many addicts also turn to maxing out their credit cards, gambling or asking others for money so they can buy more drugs or alcohol. Some even begin selling drugs to support their own habit. This brings us back to the endless legal and financial consequences that are common with addiction.
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How Does A Drug Overdose Affect The Brain
Permanent damage to the brain can occur from a nonlethal drug overdose. Prescription opioids used to treat pain and the illicit drug heroin can have a depressant effect on the respiratory system, slowing the delivery of oxygen to the brain. Lack of oxygen, or hypoxia, poses a significant risk of brain injury.
How Do Drugs Affect Neurotransmitters Quizlet
Drugs can affect it in many ways: They can stimulate or inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, mimic the effects of neurotransmitters on postsynaptic receptors, block these effects, or interfere with the reputable of a neurotransmitter once it is released. Stimulating or inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters…. see more
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Dealing With The Consequences Of Addiction At Serenity At Summit
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The first step in addiction treatment is often medical detox, especially when it comes to alcohol, heroin, meth, cocaine and many prescription drugs. Serenity at Summit is one of the Northeasts emerging providers of drug and alcohol addiction treatment. We currently operate two first-class facilities for drug and alcohol detox, with a plethora of residential and outpatient treatment options to follow six facilities in total.
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How Does Addiction Work In The Brain
Repeated use of a drug changes the wiring of the brain in a number of ways. It stimulates the nucleus accumbens, and overactivity of the nucleus accumbens progressively weakens its connectivity to the prefrontal cortex, seat of executive functioning. One result is impaired judgment, decision-making, and impulse control, a hallmark of addiction.
Neuroscience research supports the idea that addiction is a habit that becomes quickly and deeply entrenched and self-perpetuating, rapidly rewiring the circuitry of the brain because it is aided and abetted by the power of dopamine. Under the unrestrained influence of dopamine, the brain becomes highly efficient in wanting the drug it focuses attention on anything drug-related and prunes away nerve connections that respond to other inputs. The biological weakening of decision-making areas in the brain suggests why addicts pursue and consume drugs even in the face of negative consequences or the knowledge of positive outcomes that might come from quitting the drugs.
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Besides Overdosing Teens Who Abuse Substances Are Also At An Increased Risk Of Death Through:
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , most people use drugs for the first time in their adolescent years, and drug use is highest among people in their late-teens or 20s. On the bright side, underage drinking and cigarette smoking has declined noticeably from 2002 to 2013.
How Do Drugs Get To The Brain Quizlet
A drug passes from your body into your brain. Once inside your brain, drugs can change the messages your brain cells are sending to each other, and to the rest of your body. They do this by interfering with your brain’s chemical signals…. read more
Increase heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increase blood pressure, cause permanent damage in small blood vessels in the brain, affect behavior , and death from overdose…. read more
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Legal Consequences Of Addiction
Many addictive substances are highly regulated and, in certain situations, even banned by local and federal governments. This is done in an attempt to reduce the consequences of addiction and to protect the well-being of Americans.
Being caught with a large quantity of drugs could result in a prison sentence as long as 40 years. Civil lawsuits may come with it as well, depending on if the person had been distributing the substance. If found guilty on felonious charges, the individual could lose the ability to vote and later have trouble finding employment, especially after serving a prison sentence.
At the moment, approximately 47 percent of inmates serving federal prison sentences are doing so on drug offenses, although most were involved with trafficking on some level.
How Can Addiction Affect The Brain But Not Be A Brain Disease
Addiction corrupts the ability to make choices. Addiction brings about changes in the brain, but those changes do not reflect a pathological process. The pathways to addiction can be difficult to understand, because substance abuse, as a result of the intense burst of pleasure it brings, rapidly rewires the circuitry of the brain to become highly efficient at drug wanting and seeking.
At first glance, the fact that addiction shifts the way the brain works lends credibility to the idea of a disease. However, the brain alterations reflect the normal capacity of the brain to change in response to experience. That capacity is called neuroplasticity, and it is the basis of all learning and change. Unlike other organs, the brain is designed to change.
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Social Effects Of Addiction
Addiction is hard to hide. As chronic substance abuse continues, it will affect almost every aspect of the users life. Their ability to concentrate may be diminished, their mood may fluctuate, and their interests will likely change as drug cravings become compulsive.
The social effects of drug addiction usually include tension within a family, if not an outright rift, even if the user hides their substance intake well. Friendship dynamics often change as well, as non-users will increasingly find less in common with friends who continuously use. Soon enough, an addict may only find comfort when around other people who abuse substance.
In other cases, the addicts social circle may shrink to the point where he or she continues to abuse substances on an individual basis, with very little human contact in between. Loneliness can obviously set in, and mental health conditions like depression or social anxiety can develop. The worst-case scenario in this situation is the lonely person is at risk for suicide, and he or she may try to overdose on purpose.
Which Brain Chemical Is Associated With Addiction
The brain chemical that plays a starring role in addiction is the neurotransmitter dopamine. Addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and many othersand eventually, just the anticipation of consuming those agentscause a flood of dopamine to be released in the nucleus accumbens of the brain, creating an intensely pleasurable sensation. That pleasurable reward reinforces the behavior, motivating the user to seek the experience again and again. Dopamine is released in response to sex, accomplishment, winning, and other positive experiences, creating the sensation of reward and motivating the desire for repetition of the experience, but the dopamine response to drugs like heroin and cocaine is especially fast and intense.
The neurotransmitter glutamate is also involved in addiction. Widely distributed in the brain, its general role is to activate the firing of neurons its called an excitatory neurotransmitter. Glutamate helps mediate the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse and speeds the hard-wiring of substance response into the brain.
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How Does The Brain Create Craving
Neuroscience research shows that there is a pattern to craving, a rise and fall of craving over a period of time. Craving always starts with a cueit is triggered by some sight or sound or memory or body sensation associated with the drug or its effects. The brains amygdala recognizes the emotional significance of the cue and increases its rate of firing then, a tide of dopamine released in the goal-oriented nucleus accumbens drives the seeking of drugs. The amygdala and nucleus accumbens both connect to many parts of the thinking brain, and they, in turn, pile on more thoughts related to the drugthe pathway to craving.
Craving peaks at 60 days of abstinence among alcoholics, studies show. For meth users, it peaks at three months of abstinence. There are techniques for dampening or diverting thinking in response to drug cues, including meditation, but the most powerful of all ways to drown out craving may be by getting connected to others.
What Does It Mean To Call Addiction A Brain Disorder
Calling addiction a brain disorder means, for one thing, that the machinery of addiction is complex and subtle, because the brain is complex and often subtle. Addiction comes about through the brains normal pathways of pleasure. It is known that addiction changes the circuitry of the brain in ways that make it increasingly difficult for people to regulate the allure of an intense chemical rush of reward.
In response to repeated use of a highly pleasurable experiencedrugs, gamblingneurons adjust their wiring to become increasingly efficient at relaying the underlying signals. They prune away their capacity to respond to other sources of reward. And neural connection to the brain centers of impulse control and decision-making is weakened. The brain is set to stay stuck in its habit.
But, unlike in disease, the brain changes that occur in addiction are not a malfunction of biology. Rather, the changes reflect the brains normal processes of changeabilitycalled neuroplasticityits capacity to change in response to every-day experience, which is the basis of all learning. Unlike other organs, the brain is designed to change, because its mission is to keep us alive, and in order to safeguard us, it needs to be able to detect and respond to the ever-changing dynamics of the real world.
It is important to know that recovery from addiction also relies on neuroplasticity. Changing behavior rewires the brain.
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What Role Does The Brain Play In Addiction
The brain plays a leading role in addiction, just as it plays a role in all human behavior. The choice to try a drug is a decision that that is centered in the executive portion of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. Once consumed, the drug delivers a powerful stimulus to the nucleus accumbens, a cluster of nerve cells below the cerebral cortex, which responds quickly by releasing a flood of dopamine. The neurotransmitter dopamine is often called the pleasure molecule, but it is more correctly defined as a chemical that underlies motivation. It focuses attention on and drives people to pursue specific goals.
The sensation of pleasure orchestrated by dopamine likely arose to encourage repetition of behaviors that support individual and species survivaleating, interacting with others, having sex. The high level of direct stimulation by drugs of abuse powerfully encourages repetition. Addiction can be seen as hacking the brain by drugsa way to create a direct path to feeling good.
How Does Drugs Affect The Brain Quizlet
drugs of abuse: interrupt the balance between the neurotransmitters needed for normal brain functioning. they trick the brain reward system. the drugs turn on the brain reward system which releases dopamine and tricks the body into believing the drug is good for the body. soon tolerance and dependence develop…. read more
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How Does Drug Addiction Affect The Body
Side effects of drug addiction may include:Nausea and abdominal pain, which can also lead to changes in appetite and weight loss. Increased strain on the liver, which puts the person at risk of significant liver damage or liver failure. Seizures, stroke, mental confusion and brain damage…. read more
How Does Drug Addiction Affect The Brain
After repeated drug use, the brain starts to adjust to the surges of dopamine. As a result, dopamine’s impact on the reward circuit of the brain of someone who abuses drugs can become abnormally low, and that person’s ability to experience any pleasure is reduced…. see more
The part of the brain that causes addiction is called the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. It is sometimes called the reward circuit of the brain…. read more
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What Happens In The Brain During Recovery
In the course of recovery from addiction, brain gets unstuck areas that lost connectivityparticularly the prefrontal cortexregain their normal neural power. Gradually, executive function is restored. People recover the ability to exert control over impulses, over feelings of craving. In the nucleus accumbens, new subsets of dopamine receptors flourish at synapses to deliver the capacity to get excited by other goals and especially by connection to others. People regain the ability to respond to more natural rewards, setting the stage for psychological growth.
Addiction And The Brain
It is frequently said that addiction occurs when drugs hijack the brain. Its hard to nail down what that means, but it does rightly suggest that there is an involuntary takeover of the brain that compromises decision-making and diminishes freedom of choice, making quitting difficult even in the face of desire to do so. What happens in addiction is that, through completely natural processes involved in all learning, the brain prunes nerve pathways of attention and motivation to preferentially notice, focus on, desire, and seek the substance. What starts out as a choice becomes, in a sense, a prison.
Because substances of abuse act directly on the reward center of the brain to deliver their highthis involves speedy and intense release of the neurotransmitter dopamineaddiction can be seen as a shortcut to reward, one that, over time, can have a high cost to physical and mental health. Nevertheless, the outsize sensation of reward makes a powerful case for repetition. And through pathways of nerve connection to other areas of the brain, the response weakens activity of the brains decision-making center in the prefrontal cortex.
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How Does Addiction Hijack The Brain
The very fast and very intense flood of dopamine generated by taking a drug of abuse motivates repetition of the drug-taking. Under the influence of dopamine, that repetition changes the wiring of the brain in ways to increase the drug-wanting and decrease the ability to regulate the drug usage. What starts as a choice becomes so deeply wired into the brain that the machinery of desire operates automatically, and the machinery of attention narrows focus to the drug and getting it. The brain loses the capacity to respond to other potentially rewarding activities. The desire for reward ultimately becomes a prison from which it is difficultbut not impossibleto escape.
What Do Brain Imaging Studies Show About Addiction
Brain imaging studies reveal which structures of the brain are involved in addiction, the intensity of their involvement, the networks of connectivity between them, how connectivity is configured and reconfigured in response to stimuli, and how the structures and circuitry influence addiction-related behavior.
One of the most notable findings of brain imaging studies of addiction is the degree to which, through dopamine pathways, the prefrontal cortex is consistently dysregulated, disempowered in response to activation of the nucleus accumbens by drug cues. Brain imaging studies help explain how drug cues biologically narrow focus on the substance of abuse, motivate the drive to get it, and impair rational decision-makingbrain changes that make addiction a self-perpetuating condition.
Imaging studies also reveal that many substances of abuse are related to reduction in volume of specific areas of the cerebral cortex, reflecting a pruning of synapses to make the brain highly efficient in drug-seeking. The loss of synaptic density underlies a biologically based inability to respond to the wide range of other, more natural rewards. Ongoing research suggests that imaging studies measuring cortical thickness and brain response to a decision-making task may reveal who is most susceptible to relapse and could benefit from particular types of supportive treatment, such as cognitive therapies that strengthen executive control.
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