The Addicted Brain. Joseph Vollaro, Ph.D Assistant Professor of Psychology, Suffolk County Community College Executive Director, RES Company, Inc. DSM â€“IV Criteria for Substance Abuse.
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Joseph Vollaro, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Suffolk County Community College
Executive Director, RES Company, Inc.
A. A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
this class of substance.
A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:
(a) the characteristic withdrawal syndrome or the substance (refer to Criteria A and B of the criteria sets for Withdrawal from the specific substances) (b) the same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms
If drinking is interfering with your work, you're probably a heavy drinker. If work is interfering with your drinking, you’re probably an alcoholic.
Did you know America ranks the lowest in education but the highest in drug use? It’s nice to be number one, but we can fix that. All we need to do is start the war on education. If it’s anywhere near as successful as our war on drugs, in no time we’ll all be hooked on phonics.
If addiction is judged by how long a dumb animal will sit pressing a lever to get a ‘fix’ of something, to its own detriment, then I would conclude that Netnews is far addictive than cocaine. ~Rob Stampfli
Addiction is nothing new..it has been with part of the human condition from the beginning of time.. researchers continue to ask that age-old question…….Why?
Thou hast the keys of Paradise, oh, just, subtle, and mighty opium!
~Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Part II
“ The identification of underlying biological mechanisms in addiction does not render psychosocial factors irrelevant, but rather implies that such factors may interact in important ways with biology, as it is widely acknowledged in the currently popular biopsychosocial perspective.”
As providers of services to individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (T.B.I.), it is not uncommon toreceive areferral for CIC/IBP services, or more because:-Consumer has begun to use a drug compulsively-The consumer has lost control of their behavior-Use of the substance begins to affect their decisions, health, finances, and presonal relationships
OASAS (1997)- 22.4% of the clients served had a coexisting physical/mental disability
Many people believe that this number reflects a great underreporting!
Why are people with disabilities more likely to experience Substance use Disorders?
-Lack of recreational activities
-Victimization (i.e. physical, psychological abuse)
At the very center of this model is the idea of the Pleasure Center (Olds & Milner, 1954 ) Using the brain stimulation paradigm, they came to the following conclusions:
Subsequent experiments have demonstrated animals will take drugs or choose electrical stimulation of the brain at the expense of normal activities (i.e. eating, sleeping) and that they come to prefer an environment that they associate with the drugLed to the formulation of the idea of a brain “Pleasure Center” which gives new meaning to the word “To Die for”
Much work subsequent to this has established that a class of neurotransmitters, known as the catecholamines, which includes Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, and Dopamine, seemed to be involvedOf particular interest, is the neurotransmitter, Dopamine, whose activation in the area of the brain known as the Nucleus Accumbens, appears to be a common denominator in many drugs of abuse
Studies have begun to compare how different activities affect the level of stimulation in this system with some very interesting results!!!!!
Level of Intensity: (from greatest to least):
Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA)
Plasticity of brain function: the fact that the brain changes permanently in regards to both internal and external stimulationPsychopharmacology and Plasticity are beginning to provide an explanation of two characteristics associated with addiction: Tolerance and Withdrawal
Putting it all together:In addition to causing the experience of pleasure, the Dopamine system by virtue of its’ connections with the frontal lobe, can help explain some of the behavioral results of long-term substance abuse It has been suggested that the Mesocortical Dopamine System serves to take the prefrontal cortex “off line” during stressful events so that faster, more automatic or instinctive processes mediated by the limbic system