Posted on Apr 15, 2006 | Comments 0
Addiction refers to the physical and psychological intense desires or cravings for substances or behaviors that grow into dependency. Many researchers believe that addiction is a behavior that can be controlled to some degree and also a brain disease.
And the functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) tests found that all addictions lean to cause nearly the same reactions inside the brain, thus there could be one variety of control model for addiction health-related issues.
In other words, there would be one for addiction, covering all addictions; alcohol, gambling, smoking, internet, overeating, drugs, etc, just like there is one disorder or disease labeled asthma. Then one main treatment strategy or plan could be used to treat all addictions.
How Addiction Works
In brief lets see how addiction works. The brain, the center of the bodyâ€™s nervous system, handles addiction by rising dopamine levels in response to increased reactions from behaviors, also referred to as compulsions, like gambling or over eating, and / or in response to increased repeated substance abuse, like from cocaine or alcohol.
Effects Of Addiction
Sensing, perceiving and reacting three functioning processes of the nervous system are affected with addiction. Dopamine is the chemical transmitter to the pleasure center that activates cells individually or energizes them.
Pleasure center is the place where survival instincts like eating and reproduction focus in the brain. Each energized cell in turn energizes another cell, and so on down the line, causing a spontaneous or systematic procedure of happiness or delight.
The problem is the brain doesnâ€™t understand what it is that is causing the happiness reaction.
The brain neglects the natural survival instinct reaction mechanisms, instead of replacing them with the happiness, when this flutter of activity raises the creation of dopamine for the negative behaviors and substances like drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.
Nervous system functions are altered depending upon the addiction. So sensing, perceiving and reacting functions of individuals are hampered. For instance, alcohol is a depressant and slows down all the three nervous functions. So, a drunk driver reacts slower than a healthy, alert driver to a collision.
And whether or not the addictive substances are injected, traveling via the blood system; or swallowed, entering the digestive system; or inhaled, going into the lung system, also affects different bodily reactions, responses and overall health.
One long-term effect is an increased tolerance level with dopamine reaching out into other brain areas that cloud judgment and behavioral considerations and choices.
And even amidst opposing or negative stimuli, like the negative effects of narcotics on behaviors and on the body / mind and like trying to withdrawal or discontinue use will ultimately results in depression.
Changing of the brainâ€™s shape and possible permanent brain damage, depending upon the addiction and length of compulsive activity are the other main effects of addiction.
Facts About Addiction
Of course every person is unique. For this reason as the internal genetic and external environmental and behavioral factors and influences vary to each and every person, so can addiction issues with each person.
In other words, a child born of a smoker parent may have altered or dissimilar brain chemistry or make up than a child not born to smokers. However, other factors need to be taken into account with consideration to whether or not and to what degree the child is at risk to addictive behaviors or substances.
For example, genetics, mental state and the environmental setting of the child, particularly during early developmental years could all play key roles as to how the child or growing adult will react when confronted with certain behaviors or instances.
Posted in: Addiction