Updated: Sep 23
What are the most effective new and traditional Addiction Recovery Therapies available for the treatment of a substance use disorder, or SUD? Of special concern is opioid addiction, one of many types of SUDs a whooping 19.3 million Americans battled in 2019. By 2022, it's not getting any better despite a $35 billion budget injection from the American people's congress to end the opioid epidemic.
Knowing the facts and myths about addiction recovery will help to destigmatize and decriminalize SUDs, or addiction—which is a brain disorder caused by brain-altering substances.
A Substance Abuse Disorder, or SUD, most commonly known as addiction may seem like the 'gran mal' of the times OR as a dysfunction people will always be affected by. The bottom line is, what can be done about it? The statistics are staggering, death by overdose has more than tripled since 1999.
40%–60% of an individual’s risk for addiction comes from genetics, according to addiction statistics.
The repeated use of a brain-altering substancs causes changes in the reward circuit of the brain and makes the prefrontal cortex of the brain that helps you think and make decisions compulsively use the drug.
This Drugs & Brain presentation helped me see along with this image, how we get hooked.
Psychoactive drugs alter the mind slowing down or speeding up the autonomic nervous systems functions, i.e. blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, and body temperature. Levels of some of the brain’s chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, are also impacted by drug abuse, including:
Dopamine: A neurotransmitter that regulates mood, pleasure, and is involved in movement, the reward system of reinforcing behaviors, motivation, and attention.
Drugs that can impact dopamine levels: Marijuana, heroin & other opioids, stimulants, ecstasy, PCP
Serotonin: This neurotransmitter is responsible for stabilizing moods and regulating emotions.
Drugs that can impact serotonin levels: ecstasy and hallucinogens
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): GABA acts as a natural tranquilizer, mitigating the stress response and lowering anxiety levels as well as slowing down functions of the central nervous system.
Drugs that can impact GABA levels: benzodiazepines
Norepinephrine: Similar to adrenaline, norepinephrine is often called the “stress hormone,” as it speeds up the central nervous system in response to the “fight-or-flight” response.
Drugs that can impact norepinephrine levels: opioids and ecstasy
"Where did the $1 Trillion funding for the war on drugs go?" Asked the turtle. "To Big Pharma?" Replied the Crocodile.
"What about the opioid crisis combat pay of $35B?" Interrupted Mr. Osprey swooping down on the lake.
"To Silicon Valley?" suggested the Blue heron nearby.
The misuse/abuse of substances such as opioid, cocaine, meth, heroine, alcohol, tobacco, and whatever other drug of choice, including THC, and/or behavior habits called addiction, indicate this is a disease of the brain which causes the receptive centers to dysfunction by seeking to engage in behaviors or use substances that are agents to make us feel better instantly due to a chemical imbalance.
Getting to the cause of substance abuse disorder and other types of addiction is the key to healing and being free of the cravings, the frustration-depression cycle, and the stigma it carries. The benefits are freedom from disease of our brain and its consequent sequels of disruption to our lives. Everyone has the right and deserves to be well.
But although there is not one way to be rid of dependence from a substance or habit, therapies such as IV treatments, retreats, meditation, the arts, and mindful living, can help us find and adopt the lifestyle we deserve to live, that of a healthy and productive existence rooted in compassion.
Heroin and prescription opioid drugs like OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (acetaminophen/hydrocodone), fentanyl, methadone, and Dilaudid (hydromorphone) bind to opioid receptors in the brain and trigger the release of dopamine.
These drugs hijack the limbic system in the brain, inducing a powerful high that individuals are often keen to recreate, leading to reinforcing behaviors. Opioid drugs are considered highly addictive, as 1 out of 4 heroin users will suffer from addiction to opioids.
Over 2.5 million Americans battled opioid addiction in 2015. Heroin is considered the fastest-acting opioid, taking effect nearly immediately and making it extremely addictive,
Taking an opioid drug repeatedly can develop a tolerance to it. The body gets used to its interaction in the brain and inhibit the body's brain from producing and generating its own opioid receptors and will need to take more of the drug to feel the desired effects. The brain will then stop functioning as it did before introduction of the opioid, causing levels of dopamine to drop when the drug wears o
In this edition of the Blog of Angela Terga, we are going to focus on opioid addiction:
Reading Overcoming Opioid Addiction because it provides a comprehensive medical guide for opioid use disorder (OUD) sufferers, their loved ones, clinicians, and other professionals. Here is expertly presented, urgently needed information and guidance, including:
Why treating OUD is unlike treating any other form of drug dependency
The science that underlies addiction to opioids, and a clear analysis of why this epidemic has become so deadly
The different stages and effective methods of treatment, including detoxification vs. maintenance medications, as well as behavioral therapies
How to deal with relapses and how to thrive despite OUD
Plus a chapter tailored to families with crucial, potentially life-saving information, such as how to select the best treatment program, manage medications, and reverse an overdose
How does the opioid addicted brain work, do we know?
The brain has opioid receptors because the brain makes and uses opioids. Your brain produces a variety of opioid signaling chemicals, including enkephalins, dynorphins and endorphins. Opioids are not intrinsically bad for health. They are bad for health if they are abused or misused.
Opioids include heroin and prescription opioid drugs like OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (acetaminophen/hydrocodone), fentanyl, methadone, and Dilaudid (hydromorphone) bind to opioid receptors in the brain and trigger the release of dopamine.
These drugs hijack the limbic system in the brain, inducing a powerful high that individuals are often keen to recreate, leading to reinforcing behaviors. Opioid drugs are considered highly addictive. Almost 1 out of 4 heroin users will suffer from addiction to opioids. Over 2.5 million Americans battled opioid addiction in 2015. Heroin is considered the fastest-acting opioid, taking effect nearly immediately and making it extremely addictive, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warns.
When someone takes an opioid drug repeatedly, they can develop a tolerance to it as the body gets used to its interaction in the brain. Individuals may then take more of the drug to feel the desired effects. The brain will then stop functioning as it did before introduction of the opioid, causing levels of dopamine to drop when the drug wears off.
The synergy between decision-making, emotion/motivation and behavior, which in turn is activated by emotions in a cycle of thought patterns, establishes behaviors in daily life, such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and other habits that affect mood and motivation.
The answer is in the human brain. Opioids activate several brain systems, including one that motivates a person to take more of the drug. At the same time, opioids cause changes in another part of the brain that limits a person’s ability to stop taking them.
Even water could be bad for your health if given inappropriately large amounts at once or over a long period of time. On the other hand, Opioids are a godsend if used to stop acute pain but if used inappropriately—a curse.
Opioid receptors seem to mediate defensive and social activity, modulate immune and gastrointestinal function, and inhibit pain impulses.
"Opioid receptors are proteins found on the membrane of cells in the brain, digestive tract and spinal cord. In neurons, when these receptors bind to certain chemicals (ligands), they generate downstream signaling that enable us to recognize value and whether something gives us pleasure or displeasure."
These are the 3 types of opioid receptors:
μ-opiod receptors. Natural ligand: endorphins. Euphoria causing agonist when activated. A well known agonist is the opium poppy, which is the basis for morphine or heroin. Antagonists that block activation for this receptor induce a displeasure signal.
κ-opiod receptors. Natural ligand: dynorphin. Activation signals aversion or displeasure.
δ-opiod receptors. Natural ligand: enkephalins. Function involved in analgesia (suppression of pain), relief of anxiety or induction of craving.
Naltrexone, a general opioid receptor antagonist, blocks the feeling of pleasure. When eating sugar – subjects say they taste the sweetness, but don’t care about it.
Heroin stimulates μ-opioid receptors and produces feelings of euphoria. It accesses a potential failure mode of our brains – it tricks us into feeling euphoria when we shouldn’t. Eventually, the body gets used to it and dials down the opioid receptor, leading the user to need more and more heroin.
Dopamine affects the wanting, while opioids affect the liking, which could be why we sometimes want things we don’t like!
The constipation associated with opium-based pain killers is due to the fact that endocrine cells in the gut express opioid receptors — when activated the cell inhibits bowel movement and cause constipation.
When the balance is broken for any reason (i.e. environmental, physiological, psychological) we seek pleasure and activate reward systems in our brain to fix the way we feel. But we fall trap to the crutch of pills over and over and more and more.
Authors Dr. Smith and Dr. Hunt intimately share their knowledge and experience in the book: UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION: KNOW SCIENCE, NO STIGMA - Risk Factors; Screening and Intervention; Detox; Treatment Strategies; Pros and Cons of AA; Long-Term Success
The delicate harmony that we must gain control of through habilitation techniques and therapies is the secret to freedom from addiction. But first we must know the facts about what causes it and the alternative healing methods whether traditional, holistic, or innovative. and in spite of all the funds wasted on the War on Drugs which has resulted in even more variety of drugs being available, these answers are still blowing in the wind.
The stats are staggering. Available treatments and therapies include, nutrition, meditation, and other holistic therapies as well as IV treatments which are known to lower cravings–all the latest scientific advances and social programs point in the same direction: The mind recovers when its chemistry is right.
Not matter what type of addiction you or a loved one experiences, to boost recovery success, knowing the facts and distinguishing fads to give you a healthy head start. What are the best therapies and treatments available? How can IV treatments, nutrition, and meditation offer an equation for elation? How does it work? What does science say about meditation and addiction?
Recovery, Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand presents a non-secular spin on the standard 12 Steps program course offered by AA which had a such a determinant effect on Russel's recovery from addiction. It provides a road map for success regardless of personal beliefs. “I wrote it the way I did because the classic program seemed a little bit exclusive,” he says. “After all, lots of Muslims and Jews and Hindus have addictions too.”
a brain dysfunction that involves reward, motivation, and memory.
a treatable, medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences.
a persistent and intense urge to use a drug or engage in certain behaviors, despite negative consequences.
a world-wide, global concern across race, ethnicity, and gender.
THE FIRST THING YOU HAVE TO KNOW IS THAT RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE
If you wonder how to you can best help yourself and your loved one overcome an addiction, first, you need to know what an addiction is and is not, what it does to your brain, how a pattern of behavior can be changed, and what it takes to succeed in terms of finance, time, and effort. Right?
Educate yourself, your family and friends on the facts and myths about addiction. Listen to the stories and provide opportunity for healing through communication. Don't just respond to rehab ads and ask your friends for advice. Although doing so is just as important an indicator that you are accepting the challenge as a whole family, and that you are being upfront and honest instead of furtive and secretive about it.
Sure we all have reservations and value our privacy, but we must also search for possible solutions and ask our experts, close friends, and family for support and guidance.
Everybody wants freedom from operating in th
Every great guide should start with an introductory paragraph. This is your opportunity to persuade your reader and let them know why this post will answer all their important questions. You can share why you are the ideal person to write this guide; write a personal anecdote about how you became an expert in the field; show your empathy with your reader regarding how hard it is to find accurate information; and/or stress the frequent mistakes people make that can be avoided.
The next part of this blog is about how recovery from opioid addiction has played out in the scheme of things that is the bottom line.
A note from the author:
Welcome back to Fall! My favorite season. This season, I hope to bring my blog up a notch by sticking to few categories and developing series. (Seems like series is the thing nowadays). As far as my writing and filmmaking career is concerned, I hope to rekindle it by reaching out to Palm Beach county's film office grants to complete a film. I am also working on a documentary of migrant life in the Glades and looking to recruit young crew who wants to eke out a career in media. I would be glad to hire them, guide them and teach them what I know so that they can use it in the marketplace.
Perhaps, I will strike gold by getting an agent who will help me pitch my stories which are either in script format or both script and novel. I am adapting scripts to novels in historical fiction genre. Intellectual property is complicated and sought after in a competitive market that one can break into with the right product at the right time for the right audience. So stay tuned and subscribe to Angela Terga's blog here.
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I believe Books, whether fiction or non, are the basis of our wisdom. It is in the interpretation of data and our intent that we differ from Artificial Intelligence. The teaching of compassion that brings peace and harmony is the intent of the Blog of Angela Terga. The author shares her teaching experience through 3 counties and two countries spanning 30 years, her incursion in filmmaking, publishing and marketing as a writer of all sorts and an influencer for books and other language arts of new age merit.