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Transcript of Addictions
The state of being totally dependent on a habit or a substance although it is psychologically or physically damaging.
Direct correlation between indulgence and dependence (the more we indulge in this substance or habit, the more of it we need).
The dependence is so strong that efforts to withdraw cause severe traumas to the addict.
WHY DID WE CHOOSE ADDICTION AS A TOPIC?
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ADDICTION?
THE CATEGORIES OF ADDICTION
Two main categories:
Addiction to substances
Addiction as behaviour
Peer pressure (desire to belong and fit in)
School or work issues
A stressful life (poverty, immigration, unemployment)
Unstable family conditions
Verbal or sexual abuse within the family
Intense relationships between parents or between parents and children
Lack of communication among family members
Negative perception of self-worth due to traumatic experiences or lack of a positive motivation in life.
CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON ADDICTIONS
A cross-cultural perspective is required
In many countries of the Developing World, men use substances in the process of doing business and closing commercial deals.
Women are excluded from substance use.
Traditionally, substances were used in rituals and in other forms of religious expression.
APPROACHES TO ADDICTIONS
The Medical Model
▫ Addiction as disease
▫ Addicts have no control over their actions.
▫ Psychiatrists see it as a chronic brain disorder.
▫ Addiction affects genes, the reward system in the brain, memory and behaviour.
The Psychological Model
The Sociological Model
▫ Addiction as a societal problem
▫ Addicts are victims of the way a society is organized culturally and socio-economically.
ADDICTION TO SUBSTANCES
HOW CAN WE DEFINE A SUBSTANCE?
Depressants (eg: opium and cannabis):
Stimulants (eg: amphetamine and cocaine):
Hallucinogens (LSD and Ketamine):
S M O K I N G A D D I C T I O N
WHY ARE SUBSTANCES ADDICTIVE?
Substances change the way the brain works.
Chemical elements enter the brain’s communication system.
There are two ways in which the proces of receiving and sending information by the nerve cells is disrupted:
WHAT IS ALCOHOL ADDICTION?
Alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive disease.
Alcohol is a sedative:
▫ The addict has problematic relationships with others.
▫ Marginalisation is almost always inevitable.
▫ Weakening of the body’s immune system.
▫ Damage to the heart, the liver, the pancreas.
▫ Can cause cancer
▫ It may lead to severe neurological diseases.
▫ It impairs brain function
▫ Memory loss
DRUGS THROUGHOUT HISTORY
Drugs were used for religious ceremonies and medicinal purposes.
Recently collected data suggests that prehistoric cave paintings may have been the result of hallucinations .
Homer’s “The Odyssey” refers to a drug Helen of Troy offered to her guests.
Aristotle recorded the effects of alcohol withdrawal and warned against drinking during pregnancy.
The Roman physician Celsus held that dependence on intoxicating drinks was a disease.
▫ Cave paintings, previously thought to accurately represent the world around prehistoric men, may have been hallucinations drawn while the painters were on drugs.
▫ According to Japanese researchers, plants that the cavemen ate during spiritual rituals could have contained hallucinogens that caused this mind-altering state.
▫ Abnormal patterns of substance use have been described since antiquity, at least since Alexander the Great's death in 323 BC was precipitated by years of heavy drinking.
▫ In Homer’s “The Odyssey”, Helen of Troy, gives her guests a drug that "takes away grief and anger, and brings forgetfulness of every ill”.
▫ Aristotle recorded the effects of alcohol withdrawal and warned that drinking during pregnancy could be injurious.
• CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY
The Roman physician Celsus held that dependence on intoxicating drink was a disease.
"ΗARD” VS “SOFT” DRUGS
Hard drugs are addictive and/or injectable (heroin, cocaine).
Soft drugs typically include marijuana, though nicotine and alcohol are often included in this category because of their legal status and social acceptability.
However, the distinction of drugs between hard and soft is controversial:
▫ Is a drug "hard" only when it is injected? If yes, how about cocaine?
▫ If "soft" drugs are only those smoked, then what happens when Heroin and Crack are smoked?
▫ The implication that Marijuana is a soft and harmless drug has been questioned and supported by medical evidence.
Caffeine is a natural substance in the leaves and seeds of many plants and can be found in coffee beans, tea, soft drinks, cocoa and chocolate.
Chemically, it is found is some prescription and non-prescription drugs, including cold, allergy and pain relievers.
Like many drugs, caffeine is an addictive stimulant.
It affects the central nervous system.
In small doses, it increases the body's and mind’s alertness.
It may also increase heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure and sugar levels.
WHAT ARE BEHAVIOURAL ADDICTIONS?
A compulsion to engage in behaviors and/or actions that provide rewarding emotions.
They share common traits with substance addictions (eg: they both have emotional deprivation and turbulences in one’s life as common roots).
RISKS - SYMPTOMS
Gambling puts the addict at a huge risk, above all, because he/she will inevitably face financial problems and may end up poor and homeless.
Also, socially, the addict will isolated from family and friends, and ignore work and other responsibilities.
As the addiction worsens, the addict may suffer from depression or unhealthy behaviours and thoughts and of course he/she will end up lying about the addiction, which causes tension and conflict within the family.
Cyber addiction emerged during the last decade.
It is a direct result of the widespread use of the internet as well as its ability to provide entertainment and information.
Adolescents are amongst those who are affected the most by this new addiction.
WHAT IS CYBER ADDICTION?
WHAT IS SELF-HARM ADDICTION?
The person is making small cuts on his or her body, usually the arms and legs.
It is not a suicide attempt, though it may look and seem that way.
It is a way to deal with very painful feelings, negative memories, or overwhelming situations and experiences by turning the psychological pain into physical.
Permanent scars and/or body disfigurement.
Worsening feelings of shame, guilt, low self-esteem and depression regarding the inability to stop self-injury despite the consequences.
Self-injury can also be a symptom for underlying psychiatric problems like borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
SHOPPING, EXERCISE, PLASTIC SURGERY ADDICTION
“Modern” society addictions
The result of consumeristic societies which have trained people to believe that they must be perfect and that they can achieve everything they wish.
Addictions share some common ground. In all cases many of the addicted display a desire to quit, unfortunately not always successfully.
The level of education of the person does not seem to be related to addictions (uneducated and educated people alike can be addicts).
▫ However, it is essential that all people be informed from a young age about the impact of addictions.
▫ Through this project we learned that people with low self-esteem begin using harmful substances in order to feel more confident and alleviate their stress, which is a product of their insecurities.
▫ Therefore self – esteem is of major significance and addicts must be helped to find a way to increase their self-esteem without consuming drugs.
▫ It plays a crucial role.
▫ A paradox: although bad family relationships can be a reason for some individuals to begin using drugs, on the other hand, the family can help the individual to get over easier his/her addiction by offering him/her more love, care and support.
▫ Rehabilitation programmes are of vital importance to prepare addicts re-integrate into society.
▫ Above all, it is crucial that the members of a society accept addicts and not marginalize them.
In general, treatment methods are categorized as medical, sociological, and psychological:
Medical treatment: use of detoxification drugs (e.g. methadone).
Psychotherapy: it attempts to fight the causes of the addiction (e.g. low self-esteem).
Sociological treatment: effort to educate people about the impact of addiction and to reintegrate addicts into the society (e.g. by offering job opportunities).
Addictions are a serious health risk
Inadequacy of information available to teens
Responsibility to share our knowledge with our peers
▫ Western societies view substance and behavioural addictions as more or less unacceptable.
▫ In many other parts of the world there is more tolerance.
Addictions: a problem that needs a solution
Addicts: patients that require help and medical/psychological support
Attitudes towards different types of addictions vary significantly:
▫ Alcohol consumption is tolerated, unless to an excessive degree and is followed by disruptive or anti-social behavior
▫ Smoking is viewed with lenience. Although cigarette advertisement is illegal, they are, nevertheless, sold.
▫ In many states, use of marijuana is not considered harmful.
▫ Such substances have been legalized and sometimes used for medicinal purposes, for example in cases of chronic pain.
▫ Holland has had a reputation as a “drug paradise”.
▫ Marijuana was legalized in 1965 after pressure by the activist movement “Provos”.
▫ Establishment of “Coffee Shops” where marijuana was legally sold.
▫ Nowadays, things have changed: entrance to “Coffee Shops” requires a membership card (only available to residents of Holland).
▫ Opium was first used in the 17th century for medicinal purposes.
▫ Later on, opium was mixed with tobacco and used for relaxation and recreation.
▫ Nowadays, drug laws are very strict: in many cases, drug offenders are sentenced to death.
▫ 470 death penalties in 2007 alone.
▫ A “champion” in drug production, trafficking and use.
▫ Chief producer of marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin, with the USA as its primary market.
▫ Illegal drugs are readily available and often less expensive than alcohol.
▫ People chew the narcotic khat-plant.
▫ Khat is used for relaxation and in business as part of closing deals.
▫ Khat consumption is legal, but its cultivation and selling are legally controlled.
▫ The world’s greatest illegal opium and cannabis producer.
▫ In 2004, a “fatwa” (Muslim law) declared opium production as contrary to the religious “sharia” law.
▫ Addiction as a choice
▫ Addicts resort to substances due to psychological traumas.
▫ For psychologists addictions are a behavioural problem that can be solved, provided the addict is willing to make this change.
A matter with a specific chemical composition and properties.
Anything deemed harmful and is subject to legal restrictions.
Typically, substances include drugs, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
▫ Chemicals included in substances imitate the brain’s natural chemical messengers.
▫ This way, the brains is “tricked” into sending wrong information.
▪ Substances make the nerve cells release natural hormones controlling emotion and feelings of pleasure.
▪ This “feeding” of the brain and the euphoria it causes, “teaches” people to repeat the rewarding behavior of abusing drugs.
they slow down the activity of the central nervous system
they increase the activity of the central nervous system
they cause a distorted sense of what the person sees or hears.
▫ It reduces sensitivity to pain and it amplifies senses.
▫ Under its influence one cannot hear, or see very well.
It also has a depressant effect on the brain:
▫ It reduces ability to judge situations accurately.
Until recently, smoking was thought to have positive psychological effects which included:
▫ Improved mood and concentration
▫ Decreased anger and stress
▫ Relaxed muscles
▫ Reduced appetite
▫ Increased risk of heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.
▫ Yellow-stained fingernails, wrinkled skin, tooth decay, “smoker’s cough”.
Nowadays, the medical consequences of smoking have been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt:
Losing track of time while online.
Trouble completing tasks (e.g. neglecting house work to spend more time on the internet).
Isolation from family/friends.
Being involved in other addictions
Lack of social support
Being less mobile/socially active
WHAT IS SEXUAL ADDICTION?
Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts.
For addicts, the sexual experience is a pleasure-seeking device and has nothing to do with intimacy.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
82 percent of sex addicts report being sexually abused as children.
Rigid, distant and uncaring parents.
Another substance abuse in the addict’s family (80 percent of addicts report some type of addiction in their families of origin).
Sexually transmitted diseases (HIV, Chlamydia, etc)
Relationship problems, as addicts lose their ability to have emotions and to be intimate with other people.
Self-harm helps the addict control their emotional pain.
It typically starts at about age 14 and is most common among girls.
Teens who self-harm often have an eating disorder, or a history of sexual, physical, or verbal abuse.
“We’re by-products of a lifestyle obsession…Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.
We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like…
We're the middle children of history. No purpose or place…
We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won't”
- Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
▫ The “reward system” of the brain is over-stimulated: