Drugs, Addiction, and the Brain explores the molecular, cellular, and neurocircuitry systems in the brain that are responsible for drug addiction. Common neurobiological elements are emphasized that provide novel insights into how the brain mediates the acute rewarding effects of drugs of abuse and how it changes during the transition from initial drug use to compulsive drug use and addiction. The book provides a detailed overview of the pathophysiology of the disease. The information provided will be useful for neuroscientists in the field of addiction, drug abuse treatment providers, and undergraduate and postgraduate students who are interested in learning the diverse effects of drugs of abuse on the brain.
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The legalization of marijuana in several states and the growing acceptance of this drug in the medical community correspond with a rise in use and abuse of this substance. Marijuana, or cannabis, is a plant-based substance that can be smoked, vaporized, or ingested in foods and liquids that contain the drug. When smoked or consumed, marijuana binds with receptor cells in the brain that respond to substances called cannabinoids. Many of these receptor cells are located in the same parts of the brain that control judgment, reasoning, motor coordination, and spatial perception.
Many chronic conditions such as arthritis or diabetes carry a risk of recurrence, even after years of successful medical management. In a similar way, there will always be a possibility of relapse for those in recovery.1 However, finding a reputable treatment program that utilizes evidence-based treatment (and staying in treatment long enough—NIDA recommends at least 3 months) gives people a head start on sobriety and gives them the tools they'll need to prevent relapse.2 Drug Rehab Near Me
Addiction is a complex but treatable condition. It is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even if the user is aware of severe adverse consequences. For some people, addiction becomes chronic, with periodic relapses even after long periods of abstinence. As a chronic, relapsing disease, addiction may require continued treatments to increase the intervals between relapses and diminish their intensity. While some with substance issues recover and lead fulfilling lives, others require ongoing additional support. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment is to enable an individual to manage their substance misuse; for some this may mean abstinence. Immediate goals are often to reduce substance abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of substance abuse and their addiction; this is called "harm reduction".
Support groups provide people with understanding peers and ongoing support, in church basements, community centers, and public facilities scattered all across the country. Here, people can come together to discuss addiction’s difficulties, and they can meet with other addicted people to gain support and insight. Alumni groups are similar, in that they link peers together to discuss addiction, but these groups contain people who all worked within the same facility for help. Overcoming Addiction ► How To Prevent Relapse
This quote might best sum up the topic of proclivity for acquiring a drug addiction: “Most people who become addicts are subject to a combination of risk factors.” Anything from childhood trauma and having alcoholic parents to being exposed to drugs at an early age can influence whether a person takes their first hit or their first drink. And whether addiction will develop.5
As with treatment for most substance abuse problems, there are two angles to treating an alcohol problem. The first step is to break the physical dependence on alcohol. As mentioned above, cutting off alcohol after developing an addiction to it can cause withdrawal symptoms that could be severe enough to drive a patient back to drinking. For that reason, the detoxification process of treatment often involves the careful administration of drugs like anti-anxiety drugs to help wean the patient off their dependence on alcohol and through the process of acclimatizing to life without alcohol.
^ Nestler EJ (August 2016). "Reflections on: "A general role for adaptations in G-Proteins and the cyclic AMP system in mediating the chronic actions of morphine and cocaine on neuronal function"". Brain Research. 1645: 71–4. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2015.12.039. PMC 4927417. PMID 26740398. These findings led us to hypothesize that a concerted upregulation of the cAMP pathway is a general mechanism of opiate tolerance and dependence. ... We thus extended our hypothesis to suggest that, particularly within brain reward regions such as NAc, cAMP pathway upregulation represents a common mechanism of reward tolerance and dependence shared by several classes of drugs of abuse. Research since that time, by many laboratories, has provided substantial support for these hypotheses. Specifically, opiates in several CNS regions including NAc, and cocaine more selectively in NAc induce expression of certain adenylyl cyclase isoforms and PKA subunits via the transcription factor, CREB, and these transcriptional adaptations serve a homeostatic function to oppose drug action. In certain brain regions, such as locus coeruleus, these adaptations mediate aspects of physical opiate dependence and withdrawal, whereas in NAc they mediate reward tolerance and dependence that drives increased drug self-administration.
It’s commonly known that even after the completion of a treatment program, the temptation to drink again is a lifelong challenge. However, in addition to coping skills and medication, treatment also gives the patient a vast network of contacts – a therapist, a sponsor from a support group, etc. – who make it their priority to talk the addict out of a potential relapse. Being accountable to someone who understands the challenge of trying to remain sober after treatment helps counter the fear and frustration that can be a part of that challenge.
Inpatient or residential treatment can also be very effective, especially for those with more severe problems (including co-occurring disorders). Licensed residential treatment facilities offer 24-hour structured and intensive care, including safe housing and medical attention. Residential treatment facilities may use a variety of therapeutic approaches, and they are generally aimed at helping the patient live a drug-free, crime-free lifestyle after treatment. Examples of residential treatment settings include:
Ongoing support and aftercare are essential to this type of sustained, long-term recovery. Many drug abuse rehab centers feature robust aftercare programs, including ongoing individual therapy sessions on a periodic basis, group therapy meetings, and alumni events. Oftentimes, alumni are also encouraged to get involved in their own recovery community by participating in 12-step meetings or residing in a sober living home. If recovering addicts have people they can turn to for support when they are tempted to relapse, they are more likely to stand strong and resist the urge to use again. Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers ► What You Don't Know
Detox is the first step in helping your brain and body heal from substance abuse. The detox process begins with evaluations by medical doctors and nurses to determine which, if any, medical interventions are needed. Detox is primarily a time to flush the chemicals from your body, which can be an uncomfortable experience without the right medical care to help ease discomfort and/or drug cravings. Hazelden Betty Ford medical staff will work with you to evaluate your level of discomfort and provide you with medications, if needed, to address any discomfort or cravings.
Over time, the patient often comes to believe that the drug betters them as a person and feels incapable of contemplating life without it. In short order, however, use of the drug will begin to cause problems for the user and to remove the good things in their life. All of the perceived “good” effects of using the drug will wear away, but the person will still continue to use, often becoming obsessed with the drug and doing anything they have to do to obtain the substance of choice.
Recovery rates are higher for patients who have access to aftercare support after they are discharged from treatment. Aftercare services include case management, alumni groups, community referrals, counseling services, sober housing, medication management, and more. These services provide a source of stability and support for recovering addicts during the vulnerable transitional period from drug treatment back to the community.
Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire