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Dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction

Dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction: Risk and reward that trigger for the release of dopamine

Dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction

Dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction must never be ignored since it forma part of finding the solution

Dopamine is neurotransmitter in the brain that plays vital roles in a variety of 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. And that is why our discussion is focusing on dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction in this article. We would appreciate if you can stay with us on the link so that together we can learn and take action where necessary in order to defeat addiction. Nonetheless for a better understanding of this topic, we are going to be relying on the expert opinion of doctor Dalal Akoury (MD) who is also the founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center. This is a facility that she founded primarily to make a difference in the life of people who are suffering from the various forms of drug addiction which is very rampant in the current societies we live in.

For better understanding of this point doctor Dalal Akoury says 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, and the person will grow a desire for the satisfaction. To satisfy that desire the person will repeat behaviors that cause 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. Often these behaviors can result in addiction due to their effect on dopamine, and that addiction can have negative effects on a person’s well-being.

Dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction: Cocaine

Cocaine is by far the more severe in relation to other substances in terms of addiction. 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 due to the fact that the person is consistently behaving in the same way that he or she had the first time. However, the individual cannot, because dopamine is also released when something pleasurable yet unexpected occurs. During the first time, the person expects the effect, thus less dopamine is released, and the experience is less satisfying. This cause explains why gambling releases dopamine.

Many studies have been done which targeted neural response to rewards. The findings were in agreement 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 much more influential on dopamine levels than gambling’s behavioral input meaning that only people whose dopamine levels are low, become addicted to gambling.

Dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction: Variance in dopamine levels

This is may be due to genetics, environment related or a combination of factors. A study concluded that pathological gamblers most often experienced traumatizing experiences when they were younger. Since most people who became addicted to gambling have low dopamine levels, and also that same group usually has endured a traumatic experience, it was concluded the overall dopamine levels can change due to environmental factors. This supports the opinion that both the mind and the brain can change due to environmental factors. However in yet another study it was established that a gene related to dopamine is sported twice as often in pathological gamblers than non-gamblers. To this effect, doctor Akoury says that this view seems to supports the observation that dopamine levels are genetic. We can therefore come up with two possible observations. Either both genetics and environmental factors affects ones brain anatomy and mind simultaneously, or that environmental factors can affect genes which in turn affect ones brain and mind.

Dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction: Why is risk and reward a trigger for the release of dopamine?

It’s scientifically logical that sex and food release dopamine, because they are essential for the life of human beings. Risk and reward are not.  It is believed that everything happens for a reason; meaning, there must be a scientific explanation for the increase of dopamine levels as a result of risk and reward. Like for instance the human race is different from other species on this planet not only by its ability to reason, but also its ability to create and be innovative. Therefore nature dictates that humans are creative and innovative, and for this to happen a person should have some level of satisfaction when one accomplishes an innovation. Doctor Akoury agrees that for one to accomplish an innovation he/she must take certain risks. It is risky to try to do something that no other being on earth has ever accomplished. Therefore, there must be a reward other than material that one gets when he or she accomplishes the innovation, otherwise that person would not take the risk. The reward here is the release of dopamine and the feeling of satisfaction. The problem with this process is that not only can one be satisfied after a major risk and accomplishment, but that one can also be satisfied through constant minute risks and accomplishments.

The feeling of satisfaction that dopamine exhibits are so strong that one can often lose his or her ability to reason in order to achieve satisfaction. It is that unconscious state of mind that takes over and begins to make certain decisions. The brain develops neural circuits that unconsciously assess reward. Since dopamine plays an active role in these circuits, people will act in what they think is in their best interest, when in fact the only interest it satisfies is the release of dopamine. This can be exemplified in gambling where one insists on gambling even though he or she knows that the odds are against them. Finally we appreciate that there is a lot of scientific explanations in this topic which may not be very clear to many people and if you are one of them then we are more than ready at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center to listen and help you be on the know. All you have to do is to call doctor Dalal Akoury (MD) who is also the founder of the facility for an appointment and all your concerns will be addressed professionally.

Dopamine the neurotransmitter role in drug addiction: Risk and reward that trigger for the release of dopamine



Understanding Behavioral Disorders

What’s behavioral Disorder

Behavioral DisorderMany people have tried to define behavioral disorder differently. One thing has though come out to be common is that behavioral disorder refers to behaviors that a person may depict, that are not consistent with socially accepted behaviors in the society. These behaviors are in most cases acquired in the childhood age. This is the reason parents are normally told to take their kids for medical assessments and treatment regularly. In some cases, these behaviors are also common in adults. In adults, in most cases these disorders originate from childhood whereby the victim was not treated of them at childhood. The effect of these disorders is negative effect on person’s ability to hold a good relationship with other people.

Types of Behavioral disorders

Behavioral disorders can be categorized as discussed below:-

  1. Emotional behavioral disorder

This kind of disorder is known to affect the person’s ability to be happy, to control their emotion and pay attention in school.


Some of the symptoms of an emotional behavioral disorder may include:-

  • Even under normal circumstances, the person becomes emotional and under takes inappropriate actions.
  • The interpersonal relationship of the victim is faced with difficulties and the person doesn’t relate well with the persons around.
  • The person generally feels unhappy and may be faced with depression.
  • In case the person is a learner, he/she may have difficulties in learning which may be caused by another health factor.
  1. Opposition defiant disorder

This is a common disorder especially in children which is characterized by hostility, irritability and uncooperative attitude. Children with opposition defiant disorder may become spiteful and arrogant to their seniors.

  1. Anxiety disorder

Anxiety is a normal thing in human life, and every human being must feel anxiety at a given point in life. But just as the saying goes, “too much of everything is poisonous,” when the anxiety becomes too much it may reach a point where it interferes with our normal lives. This definitely becomes a negative effect. Anxiety may pose a serious mental problem in the form of; post-traumatic disorder, panic disorder obsessive compulsive disorder or even generalized anxiety disorder.

  1. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

This is another behavioral disorder, which is attributed with fear and irrational thoughts that triggers obsession, which in turn may cause compulsion. This is a disorder that needs immediate response to rescue the victim since it can cause harm to one’s live by lowering quality of their life. Please call or visit us at AWAREmed for assistance.

What causes these behavioral disorders?

The causes of behavioral disorders are numerous. Some scientists have argued that, the abnormal behavior normally attributed to these disorders can be traced back to either biological, family or school related factors.

Some of these biological causes can be: – physical illness, malnutrition, damage in brain and some hereditary factors.

On the other hand, there are some factors that are related to the individual’s home life which may play part in his/her behavioral disorders. These may include: – emotional upsets in the family e.g. Divorce of one’s mother, intimidation from parents, one’s poor attitude towards something and unhealthy discipline styles on the child.

Behavioral disorder

Symptoms of behavioral disorders

Behavioral disorders can depict themselves in two main ways: – as either Emotional symptoms or physical symptoms. In this case, we will look at them generally but you will be able to identify which lies in which category.

  • The person gets annoyed easily and he/she becomes nervous
  • The person has difficulty in dealing with frustrations. The person cannot withstand frustrating situations without giving up or getting annoyed.
  • The person looks gloomy or angry. This will in most cases lead to the person isolating him/herself from the other people.
  • The person will generally feel guilty and likes to relieve oneself by putting blame on other people.
  • A behavioral victim is a person who likes arguing and outburst in nature.
  • A behavioral disorder victim may sometimes suffer from substance abuse problem which may show some physical symptoms like burnt fingerprints, shaking of hands and bloodshot eyes.

How is behavioral disorder treated?

Researches have been done in the recent past, to identify what the actual cause of the disorders is. Unfortunately, none of them has identified the cause of it. This makes the treatment of the disorder difficult but fortunately we can effectively manage its symptoms. One of the methods which have proven to work for the management of this disorder is the therapeutic treatment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy treatment

This is the therapy previously known as the talk therapy. These therapies are normally administered for a long time by a specialist or professional. They seek to help the patient overcome the effects of negative feeling through creation of heightened awareness of internal states and more thorough understanding of the relevant issues. It focuses on training the patients on strategies of coping with the destructive impulses and actions. It also teaches strategies of coping with social and emotional gear that comes with being so allied.

What’s behavioral Disorder


Addiction treatment through Psychotherapy

Addiction treatment through Psychotherapy-How it works


Addiction treatment can be done in many ways, psychotherapy is one of them where an expert takes the addicts through healing process by talking to them

Can you imagine life without people to talk to in times of joy and sadness? It is for sure unimaginable because human beings are social beings who will always want to be associated with someone by way of speech or otherwise. Many times we are faced with situations which we are not so sure of but all the same we are deeply into those situations. I am talking about drug use and being addicted to drugs. People with this kind of problem are very much reserved and would always want to distance themselves from the people who have been very close to them for different kinds of reasons. When addiction knocks your door there are several methods of treatments being administered and for the purpose of this article we are going to discuss the use of psychotherapy as a way of treating addiction.

  • Before we move on it is important that we explore the definition of psychotherapy.
  • It consists of a series of techniques for treating mental health, emotional and some psychiatric disorders.
  • Psychotherapy helps the patient understand what helps them feel positive or anxious, as well as accepting their strong and weak points.

If we can identify our feelings and ways of thinking we become better at coping with difficult situations. When we think of alcoholism and drug addiction most of us will straight away associate it with the life in the street I mean street families carrying their dirty loads and causing bodily and emotion harm to the delicate fabric of the society. Really do we think of white and blue class position holders who have great achievement in education, financial stability, or raised a family as someone who might be susceptible to addiction, this is a problem which knows no boundary and does not have any respect to any social class you may belong in. In other words addiction does not care if you are a doctor, professor, or successful business person and by the way your intellectual and fame in many instances can be a hindrance along the pathway to recovery. It is important to note that addiction to any substance, person, or anything is primarily concerned with easing and relieving suffering from emotional trauma, and this can happen to anyone regardless of your intellect.

Many at times we are wondering whether this problem of addiction is a genetic disease or it is something that we develop through our interactions with our environment. Probably you are enclosed in this bracket of wonder, my feeling is that a person with certain genetic make-up may be predisposed to the disease of addiction and is therefore more likely to develop dependency. However we all agree that humanity is in the wagon of dynamic interactions and relationship with the environment immediately one in born to breathing your last breathe on earth. We can therefore make an informed conclusion that both the genetic and the environment and the people we interact with have an important influence on our perception and experience of the world.

Addiction treatment through Psychotherapy-How do we treat addiction?
The common denominator why people become addicted to anything is emotions. The desire to manage our emotions is therefore the root cause of addiction. If this is the case then it would mean that when treating addiction then we should put emphasis in creating emotional awareness and the role it plays in how we cope with life’s stressors, as well as the development of new coping strategies. However this cannot be done alone and quite often the 12 step recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Sex Addicts Anonymous and many more will play a very vital role in the process of recovery. But this social support alone may not be enough to remove an addiction-forming orientation to life’s emotional stresses, even if the original addiction is in abeyance. The process of developing emotional awareness and intelligence primarily occurs in the right hemispheres of our brains, and it is dependent upon our relationships with others. Until these issues are dealt with, the individual may continue to feel emotional discomfort, even though their original addiction is gone. By working with a therapist the individual may seek to rewire neural pathways of their brain which once led to the repetition of addictive behaviors and to replace them with the ability to seek out appropriate emotional support through healthy relationships and activities. You may want to consider visiting AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under Doctor Akoury’s care where focus is on Neuroendocrine Restoration (NER) to reinstate normality through realization of the oneness of Spirit, Mind, and Body, Unifying the threesome into ONE.

Addiction treatment through Psychotherapy-How does psychotherapy work?
I will illustrate this using the family set up where the mother bears the burden of rearing the baby while still in the womb and even after birth, and so during infancy the bay is dependent to the mother for all its supplies. The mother will supply all that the baby needs for sustainability. She will also supply other necessities like emotional support and the way in which this information is acquired is through right-brain communication. This is the dominant characteristic of the developmental process of all human beings for the first two years of life. Looking at this we can learn to be humans from those that are around us. This is why the role of psychotherapy is so important. It is through right-brain communication between the therapist and patient that the individual is able to achieve the necessary growth to make up for deficits in the brains chemistry. This can lead to permanent changes in the way in which the brain processes information, and ultimately the way in which a person views the world. This is why it is important to seek out the help of a trained professional e.g. doctor Dalal Akoury who understands the mechanisms of the addicted mind, and who can provide the essential experiences needed within a relationship in order to heal emotional trauma.

Addiction treatment through Psychotherapy-How does trauma affect the brain?
If an individual grows up in an oppressive environment in which they are constantly being put down or abused by others, then it is highly probable that this individual will grow up with a large deficit in his/her perception of self-worth. The brain’s developmental process on a neuropsychological level is to develop adaptive pathways, structures and associations in response to the traumatic experience. In essence, they are developed as a survival mechanism. These pathways are designed to lessen the impact of the damage that the trauma wreaks on the individual. It is equally true that someone who might have been raised in a nurturing and healthy environment may go on to develop an addiction later on in life. Although the latter example is typically not the average, it is provided simply to demonstrate that the common denominator in the development of an addiction is the individual’s desire to manage their intolerable emotions, and this can take place at any point in our lives.

Addiction treatment through Psychotherapy-How it works