ADDICTION -THE CHRONIC RELAPSING BRAIN DISEASE

SUBSTANCE USE, MISUSE AND ADDICTION

 

They flow though bingeing and intoxication to the negative effects of withdrawal, finally to preoccupation and anticipation with the substance. (Binge-watching television is too common in our additive society)

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Substance Use Disorders are a chronic brain illness characterized by clinically significant impairments in health, social function and voluntary control over substance use/abuse, subjecting the person to relapses. It is a disease influenced by GENETIC, DEvELOPMENTAL, BEHAvIORAL, SOCIAL AND ENvIRONMENTAL FACTORS.

EPIGENICS


It is the study of the biological mechanisms that switch genes on and off.  As an example, a person with a strong genetic predisposition to develop diabetes can live a healthy lifestyle and turn the diabetes gene off, or eat and live poorly and turn the gene on. Addiction, like Diabetes, once started can only be controlled, not cured, but can be memorialized. Recent studies have shown that the brain changes that occur in people who have been addicted can be passed down to their offspring who may continue the disease. Treating Addiction is lifesaving (and necessary), but, like jail, treatment is not going to stem the tide of addiction, but only mops up what has spilled out. Prevention in its many facets is what must be focused on...the earlier the better.
Mothers bonding with their babies, parents being parents, not friends, teaching delayed gratification, encouraging resilience, accountability, positive thinking and early preventive education in school are the means that can help turn off the faucet of substance use, abuse and addiction.