Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences (DSM-5, 2013). It is a brain disease because it involves structural and functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control. Addiction is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, as these conditions disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of organs in the body, have serious harmful effects, and are, in many cases, preventable and treatable. If left untreated, all of these diseases, including addictive disorders, can last a lifetime and may lead to premature death.
This presentation provides an overview of the science of addiction. It discusses the brain and its role in addiction, the parts that genetics plays, the behavioral effects of addiction, the impact of substance use on the developing brain, and the addiction cycle, focusing mainly on the role of dopamine in maintaining these addictive disorders. The presentation also provides treatment options for persons battling addictions and discusses the importance of eradicating stigma, which impedes treatment and recovery.
- Discuss why addiction is a brain disease;
- Explain how genetics may play a role in persons who are vulnerable to developing an addiction;
- Explain the brain’s role in addiction, specifically the role of dopamine and other neurotransmitters and the areas of the brain affected as we currently know from research;
- Discuss the behavioral effects of addiction and why persons with addiction disorders are unable to stop their behavior very easily;
- Discuss the treatment approaches to addiction rehabilitation, including the “bio-psycho-socio-spiritual’ model and harm reduction.
- Lectures 2
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 2 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 142
- Certificate Yes
- Assessments Yes