Spectrum of Addiction
One of the most difficult concepts for many primary care physicians to accept is that addiction is a disease. This thought naturally dispels the idea that people who experience the diagnosed disorder of substance dependence have a choice. Actually, once addiction is manifest in an individual, willpower is no longer a viable hypothesis. At this point, “saying no” does not work (although people diagnosed with substance abuse might still have the ability to choose). Basically, there comes a time when the psychosocial, genetic, biophysiologic and the individual’s coping mechanisms have set the stage for a switch to be turned on that starts the disease process, a process that cannot be cured but that can definitely be arrested and brought into remission.
KeywordsVentral Tegmental Area Psychoactive Substance Substance Dependence Alcoholic Parent Reward Pathway
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