Tag Archives: Dopamine

Misuse of alcohol

Terminating addiction stigmatization

Terminating addiction stigmatization

Terminating addiction stigmatization of any kind is important as it will help victims come out for help freely

Terminating addiction stigmatization: Is addiction a brain disease?

Is addiction a brain disease? Ideally, in addition, there is nothing like the physiological malfunction. Addiction may be defined in many different ways, however, for the purpose of this article, addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the harmful consequences. Addiction is seen as a brain disease simply because drugs has the power of making changes in the brain. These change then alters the brain’s structure and how it works. When this happens users may develop certain characters and behaviors that are likely to be viewed negatively in the community. It is this negativity that makes observers within the community to start isolation and pointing fingers. That is why we want to create awareness on eradication and terminating addiction stigmatization to give the treatment a chance says doctor Dalal Akoury MD and also the founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center.

Terminating addiction stigmatization: Dopamine

All drugs of abuse, whether legal or illegal, cause large surges of dopamine in brain areas crucial for motivating our behavior—both the reward regions (such as the nucleus accumbens) as well as prefrontal regions that control our higher functions like judgment, decision making, and self-control over our actions. These brain circuits adapt to these surges by becoming much less sensitive to dopamine, a process called receptor downregulation. The result is that ordinary healthy things in our lives like all the pleasurable social and physical behaviors necessary for our survival (which are rewarded by small bursts of dopamine throughout the day) no longer are enough to motivate a person; the person will, therefore, need a big surge of dopamine from the drug just to feel temporarily okay and they must continually repeat this, in an endless vicious cycle.

Terminating addiction stigmatization: Addiction and Suicide

Finally, addiction and suicide are closely linked together and if you followed our last posting about the story of this grandfather who committed suicide because he could not control his drinking problem and the daughter who could also not share about the actual cause of his death freely because of shame and stigma, then you will notice that the shame was not just because the father had been an alcoholic, but because he committed suicide, out of hopelessness and helplessness at his inability to control the strong urges to drink. We all have a duty to play in stopping addiction stigmatization so that patients can seek treatment freely. It pains very painful that something that could be treated caused this great damage simply because of stigma, shame, and fear. Dear reader if you’re following this story, let this be the last one, addiction is a treatable condition and stigma or shame are just perceptions that should not result in death. Come quickly for help today and together let’s kick out of our lives the problem of drug addiction.

Terminating addiction stigmatization: Is addiction a brain disease?

 

 

 

 

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How-Drug-Addiction-Affects-Serotonin-And-Dopamine

Neurotransmitter role in drug addiction

Neurotransmitter role

Neurotransmitter role in drug addiction. Movement, cognition, pleasure and motivation are some of the roles played by dopamine

Neurotransmitter role in drug addiction: The rewards that trigger release of dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays vital roles in different behaviors. The major behaviors dopamine affects are movement, cognition, pleasure, and motivation. Dopamine is an essential component of the basal ganglia motor loop, as well as the neurotransmitter responsible for controlling the exchange of information from one brain area to another. However, it is the role that dopamine plays in pleasure and motivation that attracts the most neurobiologists attention. That is why our discussion is focusing on dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction. However, for a better understanding of this topic, we are going to be relying on the expert opinion of doctor Dalal Akoury (MD) President and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center as well as Integrative Advanced Medicine Institute (IAM Institute).  The former is for treatment while the latter is tailored for training and equipping professionals in healthcare to offer an alternative treatment to their patients.

Did you know that in certain areas of the brain when dopamine is released, it gives one the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction? These feelings of satisfaction become desired causing the individual to grow a desire for the satisfaction. And satisfying that desire will necessitate the repeat behaviors causing the release of dopamine. For example food and sex release dopamine. That is why people want food even though their body does not need it and why people sometimes need sex. These two behaviors scientifically make sense since the body needs food to survive, and humans need to have sex to allow the race to survive. However, other, less natural behaviors have the same effect on one’s dopamine levels, and at times can even be more powerful.

Neurotransmitter role in drug addiction: Cocaine

Cocaine is by far more addictive than other substances. Cocaine chemically inhibits the natural dopamine cycle. Normally, after dopamine is released, it is recycled back into a dopamine transmitting neuron. However, cocaine binds to the dopamine and does not allow it to be recycled. Thus there is a buildup of dopamine, and it floods certain neural areas. The flood ends after about 30 minutes, and the person is left yearning to feel as he or she once did. That is how the addiction begins and with time adaptation builds up since the person is consistently behaving in the same way.

Many studies have been done targeting neural response to rewards. It was established that when one performed an action repeatedly and is given a reward randomly, the dopamine levels rises. If the reward is administered for example every four times the action was performed, the dopamine levels remained constant. Whereas when no reward is given dopamine levels dropped. These random rewards can be seen in gambling and since the outcome is based on chance, one may not know prior if he or she will win. Therefore, if he or she wins, dopamine levels increases. However, unlike cocaine, gambling causes addiction in relatively low levels of participants. This is because Cocaine’s chemical input is influential on dopamine levels than gambling’s behavioral input meaning that only people whose dopamine levels are low become addicted to gambling. This may sound technical and complicated, but a phone call to doctor Akoury will make it much easier for you if only you can schedule an appointment today.

Neurotransmitter role in drug addiction: The rewards that trigger release of dopamine

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Tools of addiction

Drug use cravings and the brain

Drug use cravings

Drug use cravings and the brain have nothing in common

Drug use cravings and the brain: Addictions effect on the brain’s reward system

The delicate functions of the brain demand that at no given time must we have an unhealthy brain. The problem of drug use cravings will, however, not allow this to be. And because the brain is the brain’s reward system which is part of the survival system, in many instances we often experience an urgent need for food whenever we are starving and generally have a powerful desire for sex too. According to doctor Dalal Akoury, MD President and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, the brain’s reward system rewards food and sex because they ensure our survival. Unfortunately, drugs of abuse operate within these reward systems which leads people to experience an urgent need or powerful desire for drugs or addictive activities.

The brain’s reward system has ensured our species survival. You may not have known but food, water, and sex are some of the elements that activate the reward system. Therefore when the brain’s reward center is activated, it releases dopamine which then creates a pleasing, enjoyable sensation to motivate us into repeating these behaviors necessary for our survival. That is happening because dopamine has rewarded us with a pleasurable feeling. Doctor Akoury recommends that from an evolutionary standpoint, it is helpful to have a reward system that works.

For example, when there is very little food and you’re wandering around looking for food, and when you finally find something to eat, this triggers your reward system. This pleasing feeling (dopamine “reward”) will become associated with whatever behavior that led you to that food. This causes you to want to repeat that behavior. Moreover, the reward system is closely tied to emotional and subjective memories. If you were successful and found food in a particular place for instance, in the future you will want to look for food in the same location. This reward system increases the likelihood that you will be successful in finding food there the next time. This is because your brain chemicals are rewarding you with a pleasing sensation. It also helps you to remember how and where this pleasant feeling occurred.

Drug use cravings and the brain: Negative dopamine reward sensation

It will come to you as a surprise that the element that motives your survival is the very same reward system that ensures your survival and also rewards drug use. Doctor Akoury reiterates that all addictive substances and activities will trigger the release of dopamine which rewards us with a pleasant sensation thereby succeeding in motivating us to continuously indulge in these harmful behaviors. It is nowadays common knowledge that peoples with addiction problems will all it takes to get their drug of choice and in the same way, they continue with their addiction despite the harm it causes to themselves or their loved ones. It is therefore very important to note that all these characteristic of addictive behaviors arise from the brain’s pleasure and rewards centers. Therefore seeking for lasting solutions becomes a must to do for all victims. This may not be a very popular thing owing to the addictiveness of some of these drugs, but nonetheless, it is the best option if you want to have a healthy life that is free from all sorts of addiction. You can schedule an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury for the commencement of your journey to recovery.

Drug use cravings and the brain: Addictions effect on the brain’s reward system

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addiction

Dopamine impact in substance abuse

Dopamine impact

The distinction between substance abuse and addiction is often very confusing, nonetheless knowing the distinction marks the beginning of proper healing from the scourge of addiction

Dopamine impact in substance abuse: The brain reward center

Drug seeking and craving to the brain is very interesting more so when considering how the brain functions. It is true that the brain has evolved over time in a way that ensures human survival. And in fact, our brain’s reward system is part of that survival system. In many instances, we often experience an urgent need for food whenever we are starving and generally have a powerful desire for sex too. All these happens because of the dopamine impact. And according to doctor Dalal Akoury MD and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, the brain’s reward system rewards food and sex because they ensure our survival. Unfortunately, drugs of abuse operate within these reward systems which leads people to experience an urgent need or powerful desire for drugs or addictive activities.

The brain’s reward system has ensured our survival. You may not have known but food, water, and sex are some of the elements that activate the reward system. Therefore when the brain’s reward center is activated, it releases dopamine. Dopamine then creates a pleasing, enjoyable sensation which then motivates us into repeating these behaviors which are necessary for our survival. The reason why this is happening is because dopamine has rewarded us with a pleasurable feeling. Doctor Akoury recommends that from an evolutionary standpoint of view, it is very helpful to have a reward system that works. Like for instance, imagine that there is very little food and you’re wandering around looking for food. When you finally find something to eat, this triggers your reward system. This pleasing feeling (dopamine “reward”) will associate with whatever behavior that led you to that food. This causes you to want to repeat that behavior.

Moreover, the reward system is closely tied to emotional and subjective memories. If you were successful and found food in a particular place for instance, in the future you will want to look for food in the same location. This reward system increases the likelihood that you will be successful in finding food there the next time. This is because your brain chemicals are rewarding you with a pleasing sensation. It also helps you to remember how and where this pleasant feeling occurred.

Dopamine impact in substance abuse: The negatives of reward sensations

It will come to you as a surprise that the element that motives your survival is, unfortunately, the very same reward system that ensures your survival also rewards drug use. Doctor Akoury says that all addictive substances and activities will trigger the release of dopamine which rewards us with a pleasant sensation thereby succeeding in motivating us to continuously indulge in these harmful behaviors. It is nowadays common knowledge that peoples with addiction problems will do all it takes to get their drug of choice and in the same way, they continue with their addiction despite the harm it causes to themselves or their loved ones.

It is therefore very important to note that all these characteristic of addictive behaviors arise from the brain’s pleasure and rewards centers. Therefore seeking for lasting solutions becomes a must to do for all victims. This may not be a very popular thing owing to the addictiveness of some of these drugs, but nonetheless, it is the best option if you want to have a healthy life that is free from all sorts of addiction. You can schedule an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury for the commencement of your journey to recovery.

Dopamine impact in substance abuse: The brain reward center

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Dopamine reward principal

Dopamine reward principal

Dopamine reward principal. In fact, all addictive drugs and activities release varying amounts of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens with stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine releasing the most

Dopamine reward principal: Mesolimbic pathway

When the brain’s reward center is activated, it releases dopamine which then creating a pleasing, enjoyable sensation primarily to motivate individuals into repeating these behaviors necessary for survival. The reason why this is happening is because dopamine has rewarded us with a pleasurable feeling. That in itself is a testimony that dopamine reward principle (master) is the fueling the human survival. With that understanding of the purpose and functioning of the brain’s reward system. It would be important that we interrogate its (dopamine reward master) functions a little bit further.

Dopamine reward principal: Ventral tegmental area (VTA)

The circuit most associated with pleasure and reward is the mesolimbic pathway which is located in the brainstem. The objective of this area of the brain is primarily concerned with basic survival. Within the mesolimbic pathway is an area called the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The VTA projects to the nucleus accumbens (thought to be the reward center). The neurotransmitter most commonly linked with the mesolimbic system is dopamine. Many people consider dopamine to be the driving force behind the human pursuit of pleasure. The release of dopamine is a pleasurable sensation. The release of dopamine motivates us to repeat behaviors or activities that prompted this release. This system’s purpose was to promote survival by rewarding life-sustaining behaviors such eating and procreation.

Dopamine reward principal: Nucleus accumbens

All addictive drugs and activities release varying amounts of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens with stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine releasing the most. However, when it comes to drugs like alcohol or heroin, the brain’s own opiate system (endorphins) also gets involved. Doctor Akoury MD and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center reiterates that even though different forms of addictions have different effects in the nucleus accumbens, they share one common denominator, that is, they all activate the reward system which in turn motivates us to repeat those behaviors, even though they may be harmful. Besides what we have discussed about the concepts of reward, pleasure, and craving together, it is however very important to appreciate that there is a distinction between pleasure-seeking and drug seeking. Note that pleasure-seeking is all about the pleasurable, rewarding aspect of addiction while drug-seeking refer to the craving aspect of addiction. Dopamine may be more involved in drug-seeking (craving) component of addiction. The opiate (endorphin), GABA, or glutamatergic systems may be more involved in a pleasure-seeking aspect of addiction too.

Finally, pleasure-seeking and drug-seeking (cravings) are interrelated, yet distinct. Research has established that natural rewards (food, water, sex) typically lessen their influence on the reward system over time. As a behavior occurs more often, dopamine levels tend to decrease in the process. Psychologists call this habituation. This makes sense. Once you’ve eaten enough food, you don’t need to be rewarded for eating more food. Then you would be eating too much, or too much of one type of food. Therefore everyone needs to take heed of keeping the brain free from all attacks be it from substances or otherwise. Talking to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury should be your starting point. Call us today to schedule that very important appointment today for the commencement of your journey to full recovery from your addiction.

Dopamine reward principal: Mesolimbic pathway

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