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Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 03:26:32 +0000

 



How does Addiction Affect the Brain

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 03:26:32 +0000

It is a known fact that the brain serves as the most dynamic and complex organ in the body. Weighing about three pounds, the brain consists of gray and white matter that oversees all bodily function.  The proper functioning of the brain ensures our very survival. In summary, the proper functioning of the brain ensures our very survival. It interprets and responds to everything that we experience, it shapes our emotions, thoughts and even behavior.  When our brains function well, we are constantly adapting to our environment. Ironically, the adaptive ability of the brain contributed to the development of addiction. Addiction can cause four fundamental modifications to the brain. This includes: Addiction changes the brain's natural balance. Addiction changes the brain's chemistry. Addiction changes the brain's communication pathways. Addiction Changes the structures in the brain # 1 Addiction changes the brain's natural balance. Addictive behavior hampers in the biological process of the brain called homeostasis. Scientists and experts consider the human body as a biological system. For them, all biological systems attempt to maintain a normal balance as part of its functioning. The brain functions as the main overseer of this balance.  It makes countless adjustments to maintain a balanced, well-functioning, biological system. The brain individually determined each person’s normal balance. Drug abuse and addictive behavior can lead to changes in this so called normal balance. Addiction can over stimulate and interferes with the balance of the brain. The brain makes a quick adjustment to maintain the balance, creating a new balance set-point. The creation of the new balance referred to as “allostasis”. The brain’s adaptive behavior triggers changes in the brain’s normal function. These changes account for many behaviors associated with addiction such as: Intense cravings to get drugs. Persistent behavior to seek the drug despite its negative effects. Difficulty or unsuccessful trials quitting the addiction. The obsessive nature of addictions that see little else in life matters. The new behavior causes the brain’s balance to accommodate the addiction. Once changed, the brain adapts the addictive behavior to maintain the new homeostatic balance. #2 Addiction Changes The Brain's Chemistry Good communication is absolutely important, functioning as the major key to coordinate with family members or people from work. Our bodies are no different. Neuron systems deliver messages back and forth within the structures of the spinal cord, nerves and the brain. These complex networks regulate and interpret everything that we feel, see, think and do. To understand the effect of addiction on the brain system, one must understand how communication works. Communication systems consist of five senses, namely: sight sound taste touch smell These five senses collect and analyze information around us; the brain processes all these. As a complex organ, the brain receives a massive amount of information. It may sound complex but the brain works on a simple electrochemical process. The communication system works allowing the brain to interact with the other body parts. Billions of neurons passed the information to the brain. Human brains contain billions of these neurons connections. The massive network builds an electrochemical communication system. Some neurotransmitters can affect other neurons (excitatory). They can affect other neurons and produce reactions. Here are some of the neurons found in the brain.    Inhibitory neurons - prevents the next neuron from sending another reaction.    Glutamate - the most common excitatory neurotransmitter found in the brain.    Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA - the most common inhibitory. This plays an important role in addiction. Neuropeptides that are relevant to addiction are:    natural opiates  present in the brain (called endorphins)    stres[...]



Helping Someone with Drug Addiction and Depression | West Palm Beach

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:49:09 +0000

One of the common fears that people and loved ones of a drug addict face are the questions. How do I help them avoid addiction and depression? Depression is a common scenario for all human beings. At one point or the other, we find certain events of our lives depressing, either because things did not turn out how we wanted it to be, expectations were not met. Any traumatic event in our lives can trigger our depression and lead to addiction. We find drugs as a means of escape and there are several drugs that have been introduced to allow one to have a temporal escape from their reality. Your loved one may turn to drugs for comfort, but depression could strike anyway. There is always that danger that a person may not get the chance to process, understand or cope up with the traumatic event in their life which was the root cause of why they opted to turn to drugs in the first place. It is normal for us to empathize with a loved one who is suffering depression and living with them may even be more challenging. Helping someone with drug addiction and depression needs one to be able to support that person which can be done in several ways, such as: Listening and learning Lending an ear is one of the idiomatic expressions that would completely describe and explain this. Listening to a person suffering from depression is very hard because sometimes the stories and tales are just the same. Set boundaries. If your loved one is living under the same roof, you should set rules and regulations that would help them recover from their addiction. This means that if you do not feel comfortable with drugs or alcohol in your house, you establish that rule and stick to it. It also might involve financial and other household boundaries. Organize an intervention. Having a third-party intervention would also be trying to seek the help of professional. A trained psychologist or psychiatrist can handle sensitive situations better. You can turn to professional interventionist not because you refuse to help your loved ones. But rather you want to provide the best possible help you can provide. Sometimes, having an intervention can be proved a powerful factor to change the person. Be supportive and encouraging. Provide all support that you can give to your loved one with an addiction. This means that you support them in their decision to change. When your loved one suffering from addiction decided to change, half of the battle has been won. Their decision to change serves as one of the key factors to help a person recover from addiction and depression. But bear in mind that that the person involved with addiction and depression is still in charge of their own recovery. No matter hoe supportive or how much encouragement you provide, they are the ones making the decision. It's important to show continued to support and to have an open heart. Let them know that your concern comes from a place of love. Make them feel the best encouragement and support you can give the person. You should understand that depression and drug addiction acts similarly. As mentioned earlier, a depressed person would have a bigger chance of turning into drug use since one of the misconceptions and believe in taking drugs is that it alleviates you and makes you forget your problem or whatever is causing your depression. Knowing this should give us the edge in conquering and fighting the huge problem of drug addiction. If your loved one approaches you and asks for your help regarding his drug addiction problem, the first thing that you must do is to convince them to get an evaluation from a doctor. Having themselves evaluated by a physician or doctor would allow you to determine how deep their addiction problem is. You may also try to convince them to seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist who would walk them through their journey and help them conquer the roadblocks in the life that led them to their addiction in the first place. There are a lot of organizations and clinics that offer treatment for drug a[...]



Good Alcoholic Drinks: A Big NO! For Recovering Alcoholics, Ever

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:56:13 +0000

If you think that quitting on alcohol is like a sprint, it is not; it is like a marathon. After a long time of sobriety, it could appear as if you can begin drinking alcohol socially once more. It may not seem like a problem to have a beer or a couple more with your friends; however, if you have been an alcoholic before, a single drink can be equivalent to losing all the years of progress you have been making to maintain a sober life. Should an alcoholic be drinking again after they have gained sobriety? NO, regardless of whether it is good alcoholic drinks or not. Remember that it took you a very long time to recover from alcoholism and it is only wise to completely avoid alcohol. Studies show that a single drink may lead you back to the path of more and more drinking, once again. It could be quite tempting to drink alcohol as you see others successfully able to drink alcohol in moderation. Then you think to yourself that since you have proven that you can quit drinking, then a single drink cannot possibly do you any harm, right? Unfortunately, those who have a history of alcoholism cannot and should not have the liberty to drink, even in moderation. When can recovering alcoholics drink after getting treatment? A lot of recovering alcoholics often think about, why are medical professionals advising them to avoid alcohol completely? It is not that gulping a single drink with alcohol can hurt you, but that a single drink more often than not leads to a second, then a third. Before you know it, you have already fallen into the alcoholism trap once more. It will be easier to drink once again; however, this is completely opposite of what you have been trying to work hard for - your sobriety - so, it is not worth taking the risk at all. Research also reveals that abstinence from alcohol may be the best thing to do to avoid falling into a relapse. Although you should not be ashamed if you relapse as it happens to a lot of individuals, you should do best to avoid that from happening to you. The chances of you suffering a relapse are close to zero if you do not indulge at all. Should a recovering alcoholic be allowed to drink once more? Some people oppose the idea of not permitting recovering alcoholics to drink again. They believe that the approach to abstinence is not realistic; instead, it becomes a punishment to those suffering from the disease. Such people claim that abstinence can create a stigma on the recovering alcoholic as most will stand out at social events. There is a certain truth in the claim as it could be very difficult to explain your situation to others and why you are not drinking; however, when you think of your sobriety being at stake, you will be able to overcome those challenges. You can relapse to problem drinking any time you take in one or two drinks socially that's likely to become 8 or 9. When you finally realize that you really can't moderate your drinking, your old habits may have sunk in already. Again your social, work and personal relationships suffer and you experience the negative impact of alcohol on your health. Once more, you will have to restart your path to recovery. Check out this video from Detox of South Florida for more information and resources. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aRXsQQAxc7E" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">Detox of South Florida   [button link="tel:863-623-4923" type="big" color="green" newwindow="yes"] Call Now![/button]Good Alcoholic Drinks: A Big NO! For Recovering Alcoholics, Ever was first seen on Detox of South Florida's Blog[...]



How Cocaine is Made | Okeechobee

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:54:51 +0000

Cocaine tops the list as the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States, after marijuana and heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Overdose from cocaine consists of about 10% of the total admission in public-funded abuse treatment programs. However, in a study which the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime conducted, cocaine is one of the most expensive illegal drugs in the black market. In a 2015 Global Drug Survey, a gram of cocaine cost about 80 USD. This will make you wonder what cocaine is made of and how it is made to yield this kind of amount in the market. Before delving yourself in this kind of information, you must first know what cocaine is. Cocaine Cocaine is primarily made of extract from coca leaves, native to South America. But it can also contain several ingredients like cornstarch, talcum powder, powdered milk and other substances once it is diluted or “cut.” This drug can over stimulate the central nervous system and contains anesthetic properties.  For hundreds of years, South American people use the coca leaves whenever they need an energy boost. The cocaine plant is relatively harmless but once chemically synthesized it can produce short- and long-term dangerous effects.  Street names of cocaine include Crack, Rock, Coke, Snow, Candy, Blow, Flake and Charlie. How is Cocaine Made? After marijuana, cocaine is the most widespread drug in the US but few people understand where it comes from. To make just a kilo of cocaine, coca farmers need to hand pick 1,000 kilos of coca leaves. After harvesting the leaves, they laid it out under the sun. Famers will let the leaves dry in the sun for about half to full day. The leaves will somewhat dry out and ready for the next step. There are two ways to extract cocaine from the basic coca leaf plant, using solvents or using acid-based chemicals. Cocaine extraction using solvents Once the leaves are dried out, it is finely chopped and dusted with lime or carbonate salt along with a small amount of water. Some manufacturers will use a weed-whacker to complete this process. Some people may just do it by hand. After the leaves have been cut, makers will sprinkle a small amount of cement powder.  Then ammonia and lime are added to the leaves. Next, they will spray diesel or kerosene over the leaves and strongly stirred up for three days. The process will remove the cocaine from the leaves and into the liquid mixture. The makers may use a washing machine or cement mixer while some poor manufacturers will just do it by hand. The ingredients will help separate cocaine from the leaves.  Manufacturers will heat the liquid to eliminate any wax from the coca leaves. The mixture will then be filtered to separate cocaine from the leafy concoctions.  Initially, the mixture will look like a large amount of liquid mixture. Makers will then add sulfuric acid and re-mix it again. This will transform the cocaine free base to cocaine sulfate. Manufacturers or makers will let the mixture sit for some time. During this process, cocaine sulfate will separate from the mixture. After the separation process, makers will then add lime or caustic soda. This will neutralize the sulfuric acid; the by-product of the chemical is a sticky yellow solid mixture. Again, this paste is dried then package and shipped to another location for additional handling and extraction. Cocaine paste extraction using acid Another procedure to make cocaine is using acid-based chemicals to extract the drug.  Makers pour the leaves of the coca plant in a container with dilutes sulfuric acid. Makers need to work exuberantly to soften the mixture which usually lasts for about 2 hours. The acid in the container will transform the leaves to cocaine sulfate. To remove unnecessary waxy deposit, makers will drain the chemical and then heated. The rest of the mixture will undergo filtration process to remove any remaining plant residues. Lime or carbonated chemicals are[...]



Famous People who have Overcome Drug Addiction | Miami FL

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:54:46 +0000

Drug addiction can affect anybody, and almost everyone knows that Hollywood celebrities tend to do drugs. While some succumbed into the deadly habit, most recovered it all and gone to better days. Here are some of the Celebrities who battled addiction and successfully overcome it. Drew Barrymore Growing up in the Hollywood spotlight as a child actor exposes her to the same path that most child actors went through. She also had to deal with family problems while growing up. At a very young age, she was exposed to nightclubs, drug use, cigarettes, and alcohol. By the time she was 14 years old; Drew changed her lifestyle and remained sober to this day. Britney Spears One of the most popular and sensationalized addiction problems that the country saw was Britney Spears. She went into a total meltdown because of her drug and alcohol addiction. When she had enough, Britney check herself into a rehab facility and battled her addiction. Presently, she fully regains her celebrity status and continues to build her career in the music industry. Robert Downey Jr. Before he was cast as Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., suffered from addiction. It was the most publicized and at the same time the most inspiring addiction recovery cases in Hollywood. Robert suffering from different kinds of addiction like heroin, cocaine and other illegal substance there is lost his career as an actor. During his addiction, Hollywood deliberately outcast the actor and lost many acting roles. He just simply had enough of his struggles and check into a rehab center. When he got off from the treatment program he was able to live a sober life. Robert Downey Jr. became one of the highest Hollywood A-list actors today. Matt Damon The movie industry knew Matt Damon as a longtime chain smoker, but it all changed when he saw a particular picture. Matt saw himself smoking and realized how terrible he looked. He then began his healthy living which resulted to quit his habit. He was so sure that quitting is the right choice that he even convinced his best friend, Ben Affleck to quit smoking as well. Ben Affleck Beating addiction actually skyrocketed his career even more. Ben’s problems with gambling and alcoholism almost ended his Hollywood career. In 2001, realizing that it is his addiction is causing damage to his health and career, he voluntarily went into rehab. After the program, he turned to some of his friends for support and was drug-free ever since.  Ben reportedly visited Lindsey Lohan when the Hollywood actress also went to rehab. He hoped that he can help the young actress in maintaining sobriety after the rehab program. Nicole Richie Nicole Richie, the daughter of the famous singer, Lionel Richie also fell into the addiction trap. She was addicted to pills, marijuana, and heroin. In 20017, authorities arrested Nicole for illegal possession of heroin and for being under the influence of marijuana and Vicodin. After rehab therapy, Nicole gained her vitality and is now married with two kids. Steven Tyler The lead singer of the well-renowned rock band, Aerosmith battled addiction ever since he was in high school. In one of his interview, Steven admitted that his addiction led to poor relationships and difficulty following lessons in class. His band mates intervene with Steve’s addiction and finally convinced the singer to check into rehab in 1986. Eminem Eminem publicly admitted that he once used drugs and other painkillers. His friends intervene with his addiction problem and he was convinced to go to rehab. During his treatment, Elton John befriended the rapper and convinced him to seek additional treatment to maintain a sober life. Demi Lovato Demi’s career was at its peak when the actress suffered alcohol and drug addiction. In 2010, she entered a rehab facility to get treatment. Until now the singer and actress maintain a drug-free lifestyle as well as building her successful career in the industry. Catherine Zeta[...]