Treatment Options For Addiction

Dopamine is a brain chemical that stimulates our reward system. People who use substances or engage in certain behaviors produce larger amounts of this chemical.
However, the brain produces fewer amounts of dopamine in response to normal triggers. Because there is not enough dopamine in the brain, individuals who suffer from addiction need to use more of the substance to achieve the same effect. Eventually, the effects of this deficiency can make people lose interest in the activities they once enjoyed.

Effects of addiction on reward
Neurocognitive changes in the brain caused by substance abuse have been shown to affect the reward system. These changes may explain why cocaine addicts showed reduced modulation of the left frontoparietal network when shown erotic pictures. Abstinence from cocaine was associated with an increased modulation of the same network in the absence of cocaine. These findings suggest that addiction may reduce the sensitivity of the reward system, and that abstinence from cocaine could mitigate the effects of addiction.

The reward system of a person suffering from drug addiction is complex. During the initial stages of drug use, substance dependent individuals experience euphoria. As the experience grows, however, the euphoric effect diminishes. The individual continues to use the drug despite reduced reward. In many cases, the habitual use of drugs is based on neuroplastic changes in the striatal circuitry. The brain changes that occur during drug use result in habitual drug-use and make the process automatic.

Effects of addiction on motivation
While substance abuse can lead to a lack of self-motivation, it can also have an impact on motivation. Substance abusers experience a combination of social withdrawal and loneliness. Significant people in a person's life can help motivate them by giving them feedback and emotional support. However, addiction affects the motivation of different genders differently. While men are less motivated by peer pressure, women are more motivated by partner pressure.

In the study, the participants were divided into two groups: those with high internal motivation, and those with low motivation. The results revealed a moderately positive relationship between internal motivation and substance abuse, and there was no significant correlation between treatment motivation and substance abuse. The study used the SPSS statistical program to analyze the data. High levels of motivation were associated with low levels of substance abuse, while low-level and medium-level motivation were negatively associated with substance abuse.

Effects of addiction on memory
Memory plays a central role in drug addiction. Addicts experience intense memories of the drug they've used. These memories are closely connected to emotions, and they can influence current behavior. When the brain has become addicted to a substance, it keeps a memory of the drug's powerful effects on pleasure. Consequently, the person will often have strong cravings to use the drug. To better understand how addiction affects memory, researchers from Western University have outlined the effects of addiction on memory.

Overusing alcohol and drugs impairs memory. It blocks the brain's ability to create new memories, which may result in short-term memory loss. Drugs also interfere with messages sent to the hippocampus, which is responsible for the conversion of short-term memories to long-term memories. These effects affect both declarative and spatial memories. Drugs also impair memory, which is essential when driving or working. But how do these effects affect a person's memory?

Treatment options
Treatment options for addiction can range from psychosocial support to medications, and can be done on an outpatient basis or inpatiently. Depending on your needs, these approaches can help you overcome the addiction and begin your life of recovery. The first step in treating your addiction is to determine what is wrong with you. If you use drugs or alcohol, you must be ready to change your life. Treatment options for addiction will include counseling sessions, psychosocial support, and support groups that will help you get back on track.

The most common type of treatment is counseling, which helps recovering addicts explore and change negative thoughts and feelings about drugs and alcohol. These sessions are usually intensive at the beginning, but gradually lessen as the addict recovers. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on identifying problematic thoughts that may have contributed to addiction and then addressing these thoughts. Behavior therapy helps recovering addicts modify their behaviors. Humanistic therapy focuses on the development of self-esteem, and psychodynamic therapy helps recovering addicts understand their own interpersonal relationships.