Addiction and Dependency Jane Elphingstone, Ed.D Professor, Department of Health Sciences University of Central Arkansas
Objectives • Define addiction and identify and describe the three processes associated with addiction. • Cite the three influences on addiction. • Map the progression of addiction. • Recognize addiction as a brain disease. • Experience the effects of a dependency and develop empathy for someone with an addiction.
Definitions • Addiction –continued compulsive use of drugs in spite of adverse health or social consequences. • Characterized by three processes: • Tolerance • Physical dependency • Psychological dependency
Three Processes of Addiction • Tolerance – a person needs increasing doses of drug to get the same effect • Physical dependency – The body becomes adapted to the drug; without the drug, the person has withdrawal • Psychological dependency- intense desire or craving for drug when no longer available
Past Year Any Illicit Drug or Alcohol Substance Dependence or Abuse among Persons Aged 12 or Older: 2002 D
Influences on Addiction • Heredity • Environment • Use of the Drug
Heredity • Drug abuse runs in families. • Genetic factors -up to 50 percent of the risk of developing alcoholism. • Twin and adoption studies point to an influence of heredity on: • the predisposition to drink. • positive or negative sensations after smoking marijuana.
Biomarkers • Biochemical markers or “biomarkers” may help identify those at highest risk. • P3 amplitude waves – in alcoholics tends to be lower • Beta-endorphins – response to alcohol is greater and more prolonged in people with family history of alcoholism • Drug use and abuse is often linked to mental disorders.
Environment • Environmental factors account for about 50% of the risk of developing alcoholism. • Easy availability of the drug influences addiction. • Children raised in homes with an adult smoker, are more likely to smoke. • Early exposure increases the addiction.
Use of the Drug • Access increases use. • Perceived availability influences drug use among youth.
Warning Signs of Addiction • Person compulsively seeks and uses a drug regardless of the consequences • Loss of job, debt, physical or mental problems brought on by drug abuse, or family problems. • Exhibits tolerance • When confronted about their behavior, often denies they have a problem (DENIAL)
A Brain Disease • Changes molecules and cells that make up the brain • Mood changes • Changes in memory processes and thinking • Changes in motor skills such as walking and talking
Harm Reduction • Harm reduction programs are designed to decrease negative consequences of drug use. • Programs based on harm reduction are designed to accommodate those who have already “said yes” to experimenting with drugs.
Strategies for Harm Reduction • Work with the individual or group • Modify the environment • Implement public policy changes
Working with the Individual or Group • Education • Stabilize the client’s problem behavior • Reduce the harmful consequences • Use of pharmacotherapies (nicotine patches, methadone)
Modify the Environment • Local Taxi service for heavy drinkers • Availability of clean needles for IV drug users.
Implement Public Policy Changes • Decriminalization of marijuana.
Summary • Addiction and Dependency • Definition of addiction • Three processes of addiction - tolerance, physical and psychological dependency • Three major influences on addiction – heredity, environment, use of the drug • Progression of addiction from no use to addiction • Warning signs • Addiction is a brain disease. • Harm reduction approaches can reduce harmful effects on society. • The family assumes many roles in their response to the addict.
Homework Assignment:Dependency Project • For three weeks you will abstain from something you use or do on a daily basis. Examples of substances or behaviors are caffeine, chocolate, fried foods, refined sugar, watching television, shopping, gambling, fast food restaurant eating. Choose a different behavior for each week. By the end of three weeks, you will have experienced giving up three behaviors or substances. • Keep a daily diary with commentary on the substance or behavior for each day. Your diary should include a record of your feelings related to the substance or behavior; i.e., “Do you miss it? Did you almost use it out of habit? Were you aware of how much you used it or engaged in the behavior? At the end of the week, chart your results on a graph and write a summary paragraph of your experiences. • 4. Write a summary of your project comparing your experience of cessation with that of a drug addict. Use at least two peer reviewed references to support your comments. Provide references within the body of the paper and also at the end of the paper in APA format. (1-2 pages)