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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Take:#7 Is Addiction to alcohol- presciption-or -steet- drugs A Medical Disease

  Addiction, weather alcohol, prescription or “street drugs”is a medical disease, namely the dysregulation of the neurotransmitter systems of the mesolimbic dopamine system (MLS). There are several bundles of nerve cells ending where neurotransmitters are concentrated. Neuroscientists believe that the function of these neurotransmitter systems is disrupted due to a combination of genetic ”miswiring”, probably from birth as well as environmental influences like drug or alcohol  exposure. One of the neurotransmitters involved is Dopamine. It appears that the susceptibility for the disease probably is in the MLS at birth. Dopamine affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response and the ability to experience pleasure and pain. Regulation of dopamine plays a crucial role in our mental and physical health. For example Parkinson’s disease is analogous to chemical dependence in that dysregulation of the neurotransmitter function relates to the cause of the disease.  Addiction is a chronic disease much like diabetes and in the end the power to remain clean and sober lies within the patient as it does in diabetes or any other chronic disease. The patient must live a lifestyle that reduces the chance of having the disease return to its ravaging and killing consequences Sobriety and staying clean is best achieved by an understanding of the causes of the disease and how to prevent relapse. This Life You Choose  is based on love not fear.

Ernie @ Hope By The Sea

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