Get professional addiction therapy in Scottsdale, AZ with Empower You Experts. If you, a family member, friend, or loved one is suffering from an addiction, it is possible you will need addiction and/or substance abuse therapy.
~At Empower You Experts, your addiction can be effectively prevented, treated, & managed by our clinicians in combination with family and/or peer support.~
What is Addiction?
Before seeking out addiction therapy in Scottsdale, AZ, one might not fully understand what addiction is or what causes addiction. Addiction is a complex brain disorder, often chronic in nature, which affects the functioning of the brain and body. Addiction is a disease in which the individual engages in the use of a substance or a behavior, despite harmful consequences.
Understanding Addiction & Substance Abuse
Addiction could include the use of substances, such as alcohol, drugs-opioids, opiates, cocaine; inhalants, nicotine, and others; or behaviors such as exercise, eating, sex, and gambling. Scientific evidence reveals that addictive substances and behaviors play a part in primary neurobiological features that intensely activate brain pathways to experience reward and reinforcement, often involving the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Dopamine interacts with another neurotransmitter, glutamate, to take over the brain’s system of reward-related learning. While dopamine is not the sole cause of addiction, its motivational properties are thought to play a role in addiction. Remember, the reward center in our brain releases dopamine in response to pleasurable experiences. This part of our brain is also closely linked to memory and motivation. When going through addiction & substance abuse therapy with Empower You Experts, we provide you with an understanding of how your body works when it is addicted to a substance and/or behavior.
In general, when we experience a positive feeling or sensation and dopamine is released into the pathways of the reward center, our brain takes note of:
- What triggered this sensation: Was it a substance? A behavior? A type of food?
- Any cues from our environment that can help us find it again. Did we experience it at night? What else were we doing? Were we with a certain person?
When we are exposed to those environmental cues, we will begin to feel the same drive to seek out that same pleasure. This drive can be incredibly powerful, creating an urge that is hard to control. With addiction & substance abuse therapy at Empower You Experts, we use a results driven program to help break the cycle of addiction.
There is No Single Cause of Addiction
When going through addiction therapy with Empower You Experts, clients learn and understand why there is no single cause of addiction. Addiction is a disease that does not have a single, obvious cause. Dopamine plays a role, but it is one small piece of a larger puzzle.
Addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental, psychological, and biological factors. At Empower You Experts, we believe a combination of biological, environmental, psychological, and behavioral factors can significantly increase one’s risk for developing an addiction. While going through addiction & substance abuse therapy, one of our goals is to discover the underlying causes of your addiction.
Some of these biological factors include:
- Genes- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 40 to 60 percent of addiction risk stems from genetic factors.
- Health history- Having a history of certain medical conditions, particularly mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder can increase your risk.
- Developmental stage- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using drugs and/or alcohol as a teenager increases your risk for addiction down the road.
Environmental factors, particularly for children and teenagers, include:
- Home life- Living with or near people who misuse drugs and/or alcohol can increase risk.
- Social influences- Having friends who take drugs and/or alcohol can make it more likely you will try them and potentially develop an addiction.
- Challenges at school- Having troubles socially or academically can increase your risk for trying drugs/alcohol and eventually developing an addiction.
Psychological factors include:
- Personality Traits like high impulsivity or sensation
- Eating Disorders
- Other Psychiatric Disorders
Behavioral factors include:
- Method of Use – Just as certain drugs may be more addictive than others, your method of using drugs can also increase your risk of addiction. Drugs that are smoked or injected into your body tend to be more addictive than those that you swallow. When you smoke or inject drugs, they go straight into your bloodstream and brain, rather than passing through your liver and other organs where they are filtered first.
- Physical Inactivity
- Relationship Issues
- Smoking Tobacco
- Other Substance Use/Abuse
As a reminder, these are just some of the many factors that can contribute to addiction. Keep in mind they do not mean an addiction will develop. However, having a better understanding of what triggers an addiction through substance abuse therapy will help in the treatment process.
What is The Difference Between Drug or Alcohol Abuse and Addiction?
There is a range in the severity of substance problems: from mild to moderate to severe. Drug or alcohol abuse is a mild substance problem, defined by having two or three symptoms of addiction. People who abuse drugs or alcohol can experience serious consequences such as accidents, work and/or school problems, crime, overdoses, violence and suicide. Many people experience alcohol or drug abuse problems but are able to stop using or change their pattern of use without progressing to addiction.
The most severe form of addiction is a physical, often chronic, disease that most often requires intensive, long-term treatment. And just like other serious diseases, people with severe addiction get increasingly sick over time, develop other illnesses as a result of the disease, and can ultimately die.
Addiction causes serious damage to families, relationships, marriages, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. The most common symptoms of addiction are severe loss of control, continued use despite serious consequences, preoccupation with using, failed attempts to quit, tolerance and withdrawal.
Addiction can occur in many forms. Often, it is assumed that physical dependence characterized by withdrawal symptoms is required in order for someone to be diagnosed with an addiction disorder, but the fact is that behavioral addiction can occur with all the negative consequences in a person’s life minus the physical issues faced by people who compulsively engage in drug and alcohol abuse.
Can Anyone Become Addicted?
At Empower You Experts, we believe the answer is YES! Some drugs are so highly addictive (for example heroin, methamphetamines, nicotine) that using them excessively or on a regular basis can cause addiction for anyone. Fortunately, addiction & substance abuse therapy in Scottsdale, AZ is available with Empower You Experts. Make an appointment today.
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~The Bottom Line~
Dopamine is one of the many factors that can contribute to addiction. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot be addicted to dopamine. But it does play an important role in motivating you to seek out pleasurable experiences.
Dopamine also contributes to tolerance, which requires you to need more of a substance or activity to feel the same effects that you initially did.
~Don’t Continue to Allow Your Addiction to Run and Ruin Your Life! Your Life is Precious~