TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Myth: Addiction is solely a behavioral problem.
- Myth: You can only become addicted to contraband substances.
- Myth: People with addictions can’t recover.
- C & A Scientific’s Mission
Over 21 million Americans have suffered from an addiction or are currently addicts. Addiction is a serious healthcare problem in the United States. Today, we will discuss how our society perceives addiction and ways to help those struggling in our communities.
Myth: Addiction is solely a behavioral problem.
Fact: Addiction occurs due to the dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain.
The brain dopamine center is called the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA). This area plays a significant role in determining how the brain processes rewards and motivation. This part of the brain contains something called the Mesolimbic Dopamine Pathway.
Neurons produce dopamine in this area. Addictive substances activate these neurons to create more dopamine. Over time, as the brain adjusts to this rise in dopamine, it creates neuroadaptations that can linger even once a person stops using addictive substances.
When a person chooses to stop using, the brain will produce physical effects that are the opposite of what the user may have experienced while taking a substance. Without a doctor’s intervention and assistance, attempts to go cold turkey or quit using drugs can be dangerous and, in some cases, deadly.
Genetic predispositions may make seeking recovery more complex. Research shows that individuals with fewer D2 receptors than others have more difficulty getting out of addiction and are more likely to relapse. D2 receptors are a specific receptor type responsible for the brain’s release, synthesis, and uptake of dopamine.
Myth: You can only become addicted to contraband substances.
Fact: Individuals can become addicted to drugs that their doctor prescribes.
Many individuals are prescribed a medication by their doctor and end up over-using their stated prescription to deal with extreme pain. This phenomenon has been especially noticeable in the case of the opioid epidemic.
In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies assured doctors that opioid pain relievers were not addictive, so doctors began prescribing these medications in mass quantities. Last year, over 16 million individuals misused opioids. Opioid overdose was responsible for over 120,000 deaths worldwide in 2022.
Myth: People with addictions can’t recover.
Fact: People with addiction can recover!
There are a variety of medical and behavioral approaches that can help get individuals out of addiction. Doctors can prescribe various replacement drugs and therapies for hard drugs to wean the user off their original drug.
Many individuals who have struggled with intense addictions have benefited from the twelve-step program. The twelve-step program outlines a pattern of acceptance and means of addressing addiction in one’s life.
This method includes the following:
- Admitting you can’t control your addiction
- Believing in a higher power that can help give you strength
- Examining past errors
- Making amends for these actions
- Learning to live with a new code of behavior
- Helping others that suffer from addiction
For milder addictions, like binge eating or nicotine addiction, addicts can implement behavioral therapy to gain freedom from addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy works in three steps.
This therapy helps individuals complete the following:
- Identify challenges in their life
- Identify negative thinking
- Reshape their mindset
Thinking patterns like “I can’t” or “I always” are reframed as “I can” or “I sometimes do.” This therapy helps individuals reframe their narrative into a positive one.
Help people in your community recover from addiction by encouraging them to get help and pursue medical and personal therapy. Stand up against the stigma of addiction when you hear myths perpetuated. If you see someone you love battling addiction, help them get the help they need and deserve.
C & A Scientific’s Mission
C & A is here to help you combat healthcare issues in your community. We are passionate about providing information that keeps you and your family safe and healthy.
Check out our products in our medical line to learn more about how we support the medical industry and healthcare workers who fight addiction.
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