Why Addiction Happens

Why Addiction Happens

Throughout the history of medicine, there have been various theories of addiction. Historically, addiction was thought to be a form of spiritual possession, and this provided the origin of referring to alcohol as “spirits.” Sometimes the behavior of addicted persons seems more animal than human. This is typified by the aggressive behavior and lack of…

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Addiction is a Family Disease

Addiction is a family disease because it affects everyone in the family system in which it occurs, but also because it runs in families. Addiction runs in families through genetic transmission. Most people who use alcohol or other drugs don’t become addicted. If you’re speaking with a group of addiction treatment patients or people in…

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Two Factors that Produce Addiction

It takes two elemental factors to produce an addicted individual… First, it takes a substance or behavior that stimulates the reward center of the brain. The reward center is located in an area called the limbic system, in the midbrain. The midbrain lies below the prefrontal cortex, under the “thinking” brain that thinks consciously and…

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Let's Get Real - Marijuana Isn't Just Potentially Harmful, It Can Be Addictive

Let’s Get Real – Marijuana Isn’t Just Potentially Harmful, It Can Be Addictive

I tell people who don’t believe marijuana is addictive to go to a Marijuana Anonymous meeting, where they will see and hear people whose lives have been ruined by marijuana. Anytime you smoke something, it’s harmful. When you inhale smoke, whether it’s tobacco smoke or marijuana smoke, inhaling heated smoke is inherently unhealthy. In addition,…

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Addiction Recovery – The Many Ways to Remain Abstinent

Once people stop using, the challenge is to stay stopped, and for most that involves engaging in the process of recovery. Many people need a support or mutual-aid program to accomplish this. The most popular support groups for addiction are found in the various twelve-step programs. Twelve-step programs—Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and others—are…

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An Introduction to The therapist’s Guide to Addiction Medicine – A Handbook for Addiction Counselors and Therapists – by Barry Solof, MD, FASAM

Merriam-webster defines addiction as “a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal” or in a broader definition, “the persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.” Historically, addiction has been defined as physical…

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