Can the Cycle of Addiction be Broken?
Addiction is now defined as a brain disease due to the changes it has on the brains structure and functions with continual use. The essence of addiction is the uncontrollable, compulsive drug or behavior craving, seeking and use in disregard to the negative consequences it might have on one’s health and social status (Leshner, 2001 ). The disease, addiction, disturbs the areas of the brain that is in charge of regulating and managing emotional, cognitive, and social behaviors. The body has its own particular system that maintains biological homeostasis; this system regulates the chemicals in the body and brain to maintain balance. When outside psychoactive drugs are introduced it changes the chemical balance and disturbs the “homeostatic system of craving and satiation for the biological functions necessary to sustain life, e.g. Hunger, thirst, sex, and sleep”(Smith D. , 2012). Addiction alters the likely progression so that the craving and focus is on drugs rather than the natural life sustaining process(Smith D. , 2012). Genetically influenced addicts are identifiable by their peculiar reaction to addictive materials that produce hyper secretion of dopamine in the reward pathway of the brain(Smith D. , 2012). Melemis discusses a study that reveals children of addicts are 8 times more likely to develop an addiction, genetics affect the variability to susceptibility by 50-60%. It has been proven that prevention of drug use, or abstinence, is the best strategy for remaining addiction free. An addict that is predisposed and has children who are predisposed can impact the future of their children by remaining abstinent from drugs, providing a safe environment, talking with their children and being honest with themselves and their loved ones (Adult Children of Alcoholics, 2012).
The information presented in this paper will discuss how an addict or one that comes from a family of addicts can successfully regain their life without addiction. The first step is to fully understand addiction as a disease and is at risk for becoming an addict. Second is to comprehend how one recovers from addiction. Lastly, if an addict or family member of an addict knows that there is help and where to find that help for themselves or loved one then they can have hope for recovery. Therefore, this documentation suggests adult children of addicts can ‘break the cycle’ of familial predisposition by recognizing the disease, understanding the process to recovery, and utilizing the available resources to obtain that recovery.
Addiction begins with a voluntary choice to use the drug and with continued use becomes a compulsive behavior. Not everyone that uses will become an addict. First step to recovery is to understand the disease.
Addiction begins with a voluntary use of drugs usually to escape, relax, or reward oneself but then the drug takes over and becomes a compulsive behavior (Melemis, What is Addcition?, 2012). Many of our words are derived from Latin words and the word addiction comes from the Latin word meaning “enslaved by” or “ bound to” (Harvard Health Publication , 2011). Addiction is continued use of a mood altering substance or behavior without regard to the adverse consequences. It involves an intense craving with loss of control over its use (Leshner, 2001 ; Harvard Health Publication , 2011). More recent studies have shown that not only are drugs addicting but certain pleasurable activities such as gambling, shopping, and sex have an apparent effect on the brain similar to use of drugs(Harvard Health Publication , 2011). According to the APA and WHO addiction must meet at least three of the following criteria: Tolerance to the drug, withdrawal of either physical or emotional symptoms, limited control over how much is used, negative consequences relating to health, job, self-esteem, or family, neglected or postponed activities, significant time or energy spent related to the drug...
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