Why people develop a drug of choice

This is the last installment of a five part series on the neurobiology of addiction by Jennifer Fernández, PhD. Follow along on Power Over Addiction or Facebook. Drug of choice can say a lot about a person or what they’re coping with. People choose drugs that will best help them cope with underlying problems. Sometimes Read more about Why people develop a drug of choice[…]

Neurotransmitters and Addiction

This is the fourth installment of a five part series on the neurobiology of addiction by Jennifer Fernández, PhD. Follow along on Power Over Addiction or Facebook. In the previous installment of this series, we learned that dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and euphoria, but it has other functions as well. And dopamine Read more about Neurotransmitters and Addiction[…]

This is your brain on drugs. For real.

This is the third installment of a five part series on the neurobiology of addiction by Jennifer Fernández, PhD. Follow along on Power Over Addiction or Facebook. Addiction is scary. It has caused pain in many people’s lives and has cost families and governments trillions of dollars to treat and prevent. It’s no surprise that Read more about This is your brain on drugs. For real.[…]

The Neurocircuitry of Addiction

This is the second installment of a five part series on the neurobiology of addiction by Jennifer Fernández, PhD. Follow along on Power Over Addiction or Facebook. Addiction causes changes to brain structures that regulate pleasure, motivation, and decision making. Depending on the type of drug abused and the length of the abuse, these changes Read more about The Neurocircuitry of Addiction[…]

The Neurobiology of Addiction

This is the first installment of a five part series on the neurobiology of addiction by Jennifer Fernández, PhD. Follow along on Power Over Addiction or Facebook. Addiction is a biopsychosocial phenomenon that affects over 20 million people in the United States. The factors that cause addiction are not yet well understood, with some arguing Read more about The Neurobiology of Addiction[…]

Is internet addiction real?

If internet use interferes with one’s life and ability to function, internet addiction or compulsive internet use may be a concern. Although there is debate in the academic world about the authenticity of internet addiction there is no dispute that, for some people, excessive internet use can cause distress, strife, and disruption in their ability Read more about Is internet addiction real?[…]

Drug Tolerance Explained

Our brain thrives on novelty and dopamine helps us store information about novel situations.  We know that dopamine is released when we receive a reward, but it is also involved in noting unexpected rewards. If you get more juice than you anticipated, your brain releases dopamine and sends it to the anterior cingulate in your frontal cortex, Read more about Drug Tolerance Explained[…]

Substance Abuse Treatment Options: Getting Help

Counseling? Rehab? Support groups? How does one know where to start when it comes to choosing a substance abuse treatment program? First, you’ll want to get a formal assessment from a licensed professional to determine which treatment option is appropriate for you. Some substance abuse treatment options to consider are support groups, inpatient, and outpatient treatment. AA, NA and Read more about Substance Abuse Treatment Options: Getting Help[…]

This is your brain on dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for movement, pleasure, motivation, and cognitive processes, such as learning. For the purposes of understanding its role in addiction, let’s concentrate on pleasure and motivation. Whenever we do something that propagates the advancement of our species, dopamine is released in order to motivate repetition of the action. When we sleep, eat, and Read more about This is your brain on dopamine[…]

The Truth About Addiction

Addiction is not a character flaw and it most definitely is not a choice. Addiction is a biopsychosocial phenomenon that results in negative consequences and feelings of shame and guilt. Biological, psychological, and social factors culminate into a dependent relationship to a substance or compulsive behavior as a means of coping with distressing emotional, psychological, Read more about The Truth About Addiction[…]