Prepared for Christopher D. | Delivered September 23, 2019
Addiction and Family Intervention
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To determine evidenced based reasoning to explain why an addict cannot stop their addictive behavior on their own. Additionally, to understand the affects of alcoholism and addiction on family members, particularly children.
Why Addicts Cannot Stop
According to research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug and alcohol addiction can
alter brain functions
including impulse control. It is this lack of impulse control that causes addicts to continue to use despite the consequences.
Brain scans of people that have addicitions reveal decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex. According to
Dr. Nora Volkow
, director of NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, “When the frontal cortex isn’t working properly, people can’t make the decision to stop taking the drug—even if they realize the price of taking that drug may be extremely high, and they might lose custody of their children or end up in jail. Nonetheless, they take it.”
At the beginning of addiction, the drug or alcohol affects the
area of the brain giving the addict a sense of pleasure when taking the drug or alcohol. This keeps the addict going back for more.
Some drugs can produce up to
10 times more dopamine
than other pleasure causing activities such as eating or sex. In addition, the brain begins to adjust to the high-levels of dopamine by producing less of its own. This forces the addict to use again in order to feel any type of pleasure.
In addition, drugs and alcohol also affect the
part of the brain making the addict feel anxious and stressed when they are not using. At this point, they are using for stress relief rather than pleasure.
Impact of Addiction on Children
Children with alcoholic
or drug addicted parents often experience depression and anxiety, as well as poor self-image.
In addition, children raised by alcoholics are
more likely to become an addict themselves.
Studies have shown that children of addicts have more
stress-related physical illnesses
such as asthma and colitis.
Children of addicts have higher incidences of
such as ADHD, eating disorders, and anti-social personality disorders.
Educational impacts of parental addiction includes
truancy and delinquency
, mainly due to lack of energy, tension and worry at home, and taking on inappropriate responsibilities at home.