February 26, 2014
A. Drug Addiction
1. Compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal. Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual.
2. Drugs contain chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. There are at least two ways that drugs cause this disruption, by imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers and by over stimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain. Some drugs have alike structures to neurotransmitters, this similarity allows the drugs to play with the brains receptors and activate nerve cells to send unusual messages. Other hard drugs like cocaine cause the nerve cells to release large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or to prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals. Dopamine is especially important in the pleasure circuit in the brain.
3. The brain adapts to the surges in dopamine by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit. The abuser will continue to take the drug until he gets the same release of dopamine as he or she did before. This explains tolerance because the brain adapts to the dopamine, which causes the user to not enjoy the drug anymore, but also other events in life that brought pleasure. Without this drug the user will start to have withdrawal symptoms, which will allow him or her to not enjoy anything in life without this drug, and dopamine rush that ties in with dependence also.
4. Some people experience cravings after long period of abstinence because the brain is used to the abuse and the release of so much dopamine that it is having a withdrawal from the dopamine release. Long-term abuse changes the brain chemical systems and circuits.
5. The responsibilities of the addict are to get themselves help and stay clean no matter what the circumstances, to stay on the right path and become clean. The immediate victims need to make sure the addict is on the path to becoming clean and make sure they are keeping drugs and whatever else away from themselves and the addict. The society needs to keep drugs out of the society and take precaution and to help the victims and addict become clean and realize what they were doing wrong.
B. Gambling addiction
6. Gambling is almost like a drug abuse your brain gets addicted to the dopamine release that it gives when you are winning or have a good feeling about something. The rush of gambling gets bigger and bigger and more dopamine is released and you don't want to stop till you have that big rush again. This definitely causes the brain controlling to get out of hand and same with judgment, its like your brain is almost impaired until you reach where you want to be. Go big or go home phrase fits this pretty well.
7. The first type of excessive gambler is relatively normal, psychologically and neurologically speaking. They have no pre-existing depression or other emotional problems that might drive them to over-indulge. The second type of potential pathological gambler starts with some psychological difficulties that pre-date and help precipitate the initial slot machine spin or craps toss. The 3rd type of