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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: EVOPROGRAM IS A NEW APPROACH TO EARLY ADDICTION TREATMENT, Addiction is an imbalance of brain chemistry that is both physical, spiritual and psychological
Author: Fraser Trevor
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English: The PET images show that repeated exposure to drugs depletes the brain's dopamine receptors, which are critical for one'...
English: The PET images show that repeated exp...
English: The PET images show that repeated exposure to drugs depletes the brain's dopamine receptors, which are critical for one's ability to experience pleasure and reward. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Addiction is an "imbalance of brain chemistry" that is both physical, spiritual and psychological and on the physical side involves biochemical deficits and imbalances. And given our changing lifestyles, and eating food that is less nutritious than it needs to be, biochemical imbalance is becoming an ever-increasing problem in most cultures. Our bodies feed our brains and if we don’t feed our bodies properly our brains in turn do not receive the food they need for us to think and feel as we should. And when our brains are short of the nutrition it needs, we experience cravings. Biochemical imbalance is one of the reasons that rates of addiction are increasing and treatment centre outcomes decreasing in the world currently.

  We need to acknowledge that addiction is a chronic yet treatable brain disorder. Each time you engage into substance abuse you actually change the structure of your brain and alter how it functions. Our brain contains neurotransmitters and receptors that communicate with each other in order to “regulate and coordinate everything we feel, think, or do.”

In the simplest of terms, neurotransmitters provide instructions and receptors carry those instructions out. Once these instructions have been communicated and received, transporters recycle the neurons involved with that particular set of instructions, so they can be used for the next time that particular set of instructions needs to be followed. Drugs, alcohol, and other chemical substances interfere with this process, however, and corrupt those messages.

One example of how this leads to physical impairment is dopamine. Among other things, dopamine controls our emotions, and most importantly, feelings of pleasure. Dopamine production occurs naturally when we do healthy but pleasurable things like eat or have sex. Drugs, however, artificially increase the level of dopamine in our brains and can release 2 to 10 times more dopamine than those normal activities. When our brain’s dopamine levels are elevated, we experience the euphoric feeling that makes drugs appealing. Such an intense, and in some cases longer lasting, feeling simply surpasses the pleasure caused by the naturally occurring levels of dopamine in our brain.

One of the downsides of excessive dopamine levels is that our body naturally readjusts and produces far less dopamine and devotes fewer receptors to your brain’s reward center. This can lead to abnormally low levels of dopamine and your ability to experience pleasure is compromised. This crash can manifest itself as depression and an inability to experience pleasure.

 In order to escape that feeling, substance abusers artificially introduce dopamine into their system to return to normal dopamine function and the more they do this, they need increasingly larger amounts to achieve the same effect. It is easy to see how this becomes a vicious cycle. We biologically require dopamine to function, but abusing substances breaks the part of our physical system that produces and regulates dopamine. Any attempts to alter that process on our own only further hinder our body’s ability to function.

Interfering with dopamine levels is merely one way to open the door to addiction. Our inability to break the destructive patterns associated with substance abuse has its roots in biology. There are, of course, psychological and environmental factors as well, but understanding the science behind chemical dependency enables us to effectively address what may seem like the unfixable insanity of addiction, but in truth, is a treatable medical condition.

There are certain biochemical imbalances that make us more prone to the addictive cycle and lessen the chances of sustainable recovery.
  • Imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Amino acid imbalances
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Inflammatory and oxidative stress
  • Adrenal fatigue
Therefore, biochemical restoration, a function of orthomolecular medicine, is prioritized in our practice to overcome craving, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. And as important, a properly functioning brain allows us to work more effectively with the client while in treatment and to increase the chances of long term abstinence.
Once balance is restored, the our cognitive skills and emotional stability are significantly improved and they are much more vital physically and we are then able to much more effectively undertake spiritual and addictions counselling .
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