Addiction Solution Source

Entries from April 2007

Fight Alcoholism Through Nutrition

April 30th, 2007 · No Comments

After years of research, Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D., author of Seven Weeks To Sobriety – The Proven Program To Fight Alcoholism Through Nutrition, set up an addiction treatment clinic in Minneapolis, MN that has over a 70% success rate. The Health Recovery Center was a pioneer in a holistic way of treating patients.

Dr. Larson states that “talk therapy” can help with coping skills and serious emotional issues but it cannot repair your alcohol altered brain and nervous system or banish the depression, unstable moods, and cravings that stem from the biochemical changes alcohol brings about. The program focuses on biochemical repair and restoration.

The recovery program is built around two premises:

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Tags: Alcohol Addiction · Drug Addiction Alternative Treatment

Alcohol Addiction and Hypoglycemia

April 29th, 2007 · No Comments

Alcohol addiction is basically a sugar addiction. Hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar) is a factor for about 95 percent of alcoholics, and it may well be a major cause of alcoholism.

Alcohol is the ultimate refined carbohydrate, capable of elevating blood sugar levels even faster than white sugar. Consuming alcohol gives a temporary rise in blood sugar so the drinker feels relaxed and energized. When blood sugar drops, the person wants more. It is highly recommended that you take a lab test for hypoglycemia to help analyze your condition.

Brigitte Mars, author of Addiction-Free Naturally, states that when you quit drinking, it’s essential that you feed your body a cleansing, healthy diet that supplies the nutrients it needs to recover from alcohol abuse. It is important to keep the body’s blood sugar level stable by eating small, frequent meals. Avoid sugar, sweets, sweetened fruit juices, caffeine, and refined carbohydrates such as breads and pasta. Eat plenty of vegetables and whole grains and drink plenty of water.

When you have a craving for alcohol, try any of the following foods:

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Tags: Alcohol Addiction · Drug Addiction Alternative Treatment · Sugar Addiction

Does Drug Abuse Cause Mental Disorders, or Vice Versa?

April 28th, 2007 · No Comments

Drug abuse and brain disorders often co-exist. In some cases, mental diseases may precede addiction; in other cases, drug abuse may trigger or exacerbate mental disorders, particularly in individuals with specific vulnerabilities.

What are the medical consequences of drug addiction?

Individuals who suffer from addiction often have one or more accompanying medical issues, including lung and cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and mental disorders. Imaging scans, chest x-rays, and blood tests show the damaging effects of drug abuse throughout the body. For example, tests show that smoking causes cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, blood, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. In addition, some drugs of abuse, such as inhalants, are toxic to nerve cells and may damage or destroy them either in the brain or the peripheral nervous system.

What harmful consequences to others result from drug addiction?

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders · Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

What Happens to Your Brain if You Keep Taking Drugs?

April 27th, 2007 · No Comments

Just as we turn down the volume on a radio that is too loud, the brain adjusts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine (and other neurotransmitters) by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of receptors that can receive and transmit signals. As a result, dopamine’s impact on the reward circuit of a drug abuser’s brain can become abnormally low, and the ability to experience any pleasure is reduced. This is why the abuser eventually feels flat, lifeless, and depressed, and is unable to enjoy things that previously brought them pleasure. Now, they need to take drugs just to bring their dopamine function back up to normal. And, they must take larger amounts of the drug than they first did to create the dopamine high – an effect known as tolerance.

How does long-term drug taking affect brain circuits?

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders

How Do Drugs Work in The Brain?

April 26th, 2007 · No Comments

Drugs are chemicals. They work in the brain by tapping into the brain’s communication system and interfering with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, can activate neurons because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter. This similarity in structure “fools” receptors and allows the drugs to lock onto and activate the nerve cells. Although these street drugs mimic brain chemicals, they don’t activate nerve cells in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and they lead to abnormal messages being transmitted through the network.

Other drugs, such as amphetamine or cocaine, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message, ultimately disrupting communication channels. The difference in effect can be described as the difference between someone whispering into your ear and someone shouting into a microphone.

How do drugs work in the brain to produce pleasure?

All drugs of abuse directly or indirectly target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The over stimulation of this system, which rewards our natural behaviors, produces the euphoric effects sought by people who abuse drugs and teaches them to repeat the behavior.

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders · Street Drugs

Fruits, Veggies and Dairy May Help Smokers Quit

April 25th, 2007 · No Comments

This information was recently released from Duke University:

Smokers reported that consuming milk, water, fruits and vegetables worsened the taste of cigarettes, while consuming alcohol, coffee and meat enhanced their taste, according to the researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

The findings could lead to a “Quit Smoking Diet” or to development of a gum or lozenge that makes cigarettes less palatable, said lead study investigator Joseph McClernon, Ph.D., an assistant research professor of medical psychiatry at the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research.

“With a few modifications to their diet — consuming items that make cigarettes taste bad, such as a cold glass of milk, and avoiding items that make cigarettes taste good, like a pint of beer — smokers can make quitting a bit easier,” McClernon said.

The findings appear in the April 2007 issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Tags: Drug Addiction Alternative Treatment · Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

Brain Scans Reveal Cause of Smokers’ Cravings

April 24th, 2007 · No Comments

This information about smokers cravings was recently released from Duke University:

Brain scans of smokers studied by the researchers revealed three specific regions deep within the brain that appear to control dependence on nicotine and craving for cigarettes. These regions play important roles in some of the key motivations for smoking: to calm down when stressed, to achieve pleasure and to help concentration.

“If you can’t calm down, can’t derive pleasure and can’t control yourself or concentrate, then it will be extremely difficult for you to break the habit,” said lead study investigator Jed E. Rose, Ph.D., director of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research. “These brain regions may explain why most people try to quit several times before they are successful.”

In this study, the researchers manipulated the levels of nicotine dependence and cigarette craving among 15 smokers and then scanned their brains using positron emission tomography, or PET scans, to see which areas of the brain were most active.

Three Regions of the Brain are Important for Smokers

Three specific regions of the brain demonstrated changes in activity when the smokers craved cigarettes versus when they did not.

One region that lights up, called the thalamus, is considered to be the key relay point for sensory information flowing into the brain. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal among people trying to quit stem from the inability to focus thoughts and the feeling of being overwhelmed, and could thus be explained by changes in this region, according to the researchers. The researchers found that changes in this region were most dramatic among those who said they smoked to calm down when under stress.

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders · Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

What Factors Increase The Risk of Addiction?

April 23rd, 2007 · No Comments

What environmental factors increase the risk of addiction?

Home and Family. The influence of the home environment is usually most important in childhood. Parents or older family members who abuse alcohol or drugs, or who engage in criminal behavior, can increase children’s risks of developing their own drug abuse problems.

Peer and School. Friends and acquaintances have the greatest influence during adolescence. Drug-abusing peers can sway even those without risk factors to try drugs for the first time. Academic failure or poor social skills can put a child further at risk for drug abuse.

 

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Tags: Drug Abuse

Why do some people become addicted to drugs, while others do not?

April 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

Vulnerability to addiction differs from person to person. In general, the more risk factors an individual has, the greater the chance that taking prescription drugs or street drugs will lead to abuse and addiction. “Protective” factors reduce a person’s risk of developing addiction.

What factors determine if a person will become addicted?

No single factor determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs. The overall risk for addiction is impacted by the biological makeup of the individual – it can even be influenced by gender or ethnicity, his or her developmental stage, and the surrounding social environment (e.g., conditions at home, at school, and in the neighborhood).
Which biological factors increase risk of addiction?

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Tags: Prescription Drugs Addiction · Street Drugs

LSD Facts

April 21st, 2007 · No Comments

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the major drugs making up the hallucinogen class of street drugs. Hallucinogens cause hallucinations and profound distortions in a persons perception of reality. Hallucinogens cause their effects by disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin. Distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord, the serotonin system is involved in the control of behavioral, perceptual, and regulatory systems, including mood, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, muscle control, and sensory perception.

Under the influence of hallucinogens, people see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. Some hallucinogens also produce rapid, intense emotional swings. One of the most potent mood-changing chemicals, LSD, was discovered in 1938 and is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.

LSD Health Hazards

The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken; the user’s personality, mood, and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first effects of the drug 30 to 90 minutes after taking it. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.

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Tags: Street Drugs