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The Neurobiology of Addiction – Why people need professional treatment

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Acudetox, Addictions, Articles, Videos

by Dr. Manuel B. Montes De Oca, MD

dr-manuel-montesDr. Montes is a licensed board certified psychiatrist from Florida U.S.A.

In this series of videos below, he speaks about the neurobiology of addiction and treatment. As a family member or friend of someone who may have become addicted to substance or behaviour, it is crucial to educate yourself about addiction if you are going to be able to deal with the challenge you are facing.

Drug addiction includes complex neurobiological and behavioural processes. Acute reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse are responsible for the initiation of drug addiction, whereas the negative consequences of drug abstinence have a crucial motivational significance for relapse and maintenance of the addictive process. The mesocorticolimbic system represents a common neuronal substrate for the reinforcing properties of drugs of abuse. Both dopamine and opioid transmission play a crucial role in this reward pathway. Common neuronal changes have also been reported during the abstinence to different drugs of abuse that could underlie the negative motivational effects of withdrawal.

These changes include decreased dopaminergic activity in the mesolimbic system and a recruitment of the brain stress pathways. All drugs of abuse interact with these brain circuits by acting on different molecular and neurochemical mechanisms. The existence of bidirectional interactions between different drugs of abuse, such as opioids and cannabinoids, provides further findings to support this common neurobiological substrate for drug addictive processes. For free advice on treatment options in South Africa, visit www.ineedrehab.co.za or call their helpline on (011) 476-4351 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Or email us here and we’ll get back to you

Dr. Montes : The Neurobiology of Addiction – Part 1

Part 2 – Dr. Montes : The Neurobiology of Addiction

Part 3 – Dr. Montes : The Neurobiology of Addiction

Part 4 – Dr. Montes : The Neurobiology of Addiction

Part 5 – Dr. Montes : The Neurobiology of Addiction

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The Brain Chemistry of Sex Addiction – What is Sex Addiction? – Video

Written by Warren Whitfield. Posted in Articles, Videos

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The Brain Chemistry of Sex and Love Addiction

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For treatment in South Africa contact Warren Whitfield or see also www.drug-rehabs.org.za

The idea that sex can be an addiction is new to many people. The term “addiction” has become a popular metaphor to describe any form of self-destructive behavior that one is unable to stop despite known and predictable adverse consequences. For some people, sexual behavior fits that description. It involves frequent self-destructive or high risk activity that is not emotionally fulfilling, that one is ashamed of, and that one is unable to stop despite it causing repeated problems in the areas of marriage, social relationships, health, employment, finances, or the law. Recognition that self-destructive sexual behavior can be an addiction has spawned the rapid growth of four nationwide self-help organizations for persons trying to recover from this problem. All are 12-step recovery programs patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous.

One might ask how sex can be an addiction when it is doing what comes naturally and does not involve abuse of a psychoactive substance like drugs or alcohol. The scientific argument for addiction is based, in part, on recent advances in neurochemistry that suggest we carry within us our own source of addictive chemicals.

When pleasure centers in the human brain are stimulated, chemicals called endorphins are released into the blood stream. Endorphins are believed to be associated with the mood changes that follow sexual release. Any chemical that causes mood changes can be addictive, with repeated exposure altering brain chemistry to the point that more of the chemical is “required” in order to feel “normal.”

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