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Dispelling Some of the Stereotypes of Drug Addicts

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Erica Driscoll

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Dispelling Some of the Stereotypes of Drug Addicts

Dispelling Some of the Stereotypes of Drug Addicts

What Defines an Addict?
A person who is addicted to an activity, habit or substance.
So..... what is DRUG ADDICTION?
Drug addiction is a complex ILLNESS characterized by intense and sometimes uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences.
WHY use drugs then!?
To feel gooooooood!
To have novel: feelings, sensations, experiences, and to share them.
To feel better; lessen anxiety, worries, fears, depression
Boredom/to experiment
To rebel
To fit in/peer pressure
Why ABUSE Drugs!?
-To engage motivation & pleasure pathways of the brain.

Nearly all drugs of abuse directly or indirectly increase dopamine in the pleasure & motivation pathways. In so doing interrupt normal communication between neurons.

WHO is STATISTICALLY Probable of Becoming Addicted to Drugs?
A DRUG addict is dependent on an illegal drug or medication.
So, what's the big deal about DOPAMINE!?
Dopamine is a brain chemical involved in many different functions like: movement, motivation, reward & addiction.
"I can't seem to stop
and I've gambled all
my money away"
It also affects other neurotransmitters like:
- regulates mood, sleep, etc.
- regulates memory, learning, etc.
This is your brain on Drugs.....
Prolonged drug use changes the brain in fundamental & long lasting ways.
Changes can be both structural and functional.
No One Deliberately Becomes an Addict!
National Institute on Drug Abuse
by Erica Driscoll
55% of teens say they started using drugs in first place because of being pressured by their friends, and wanting to "fit in."

Common Stereotypes & Misconceptions
All drug addicts:

-Come from dysfunctional families or had a "bad" upbringing
-Are dirty with bad personal hygeine
-Are unemployed and/or incapable of having a high-paying job
-Are poor
-Have nasty teeth or faces
-Are always sick
-Drop out of school
-Are homeless
-Are lazy
-Can quit using whenever they want to
-Cannot be trusted
-Are physically weak & don't have any will power
-They are just making bad choices on purpose
-They only care about themselves
-They are criminals
-They are mostly African Americans
-All have same Mom & Dad
-Same: values
FACT: Children who lose a beloved parent at such a young age are more likely to develop mental health problems, including: anxiety. mood, or substance abuse issues.
The 3 girls tragically & unexpectently lose their father during childhood
mental health problems & PTSD - ADDICT
No history of mental health problems or PTSD - NON-ADDICTS
not bullied
not bullied
FACT: Bullying profoundly affects a person's long-term functioning
Experimentation (like in High School,) can lead to more permanent addictions. They can act as "Gateway" drugs
Full transcript