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Dopamine and Addiction

Dopamine and Addiction drug rehabilitation and alcohol rehabilitation

It is now clinically understood that the neurotransmitter Dopamine plays a central role in addiction. Most drugs of abuse, with the exception of benzodiazepines, have a direct effect on increasing the dopamine reward cycle in the brain.

Once addicted the mere anticipation of getting high will trigger a marked dopamine response in the addict or alcoholic.


Likewise early recovery from addictions is often hampered by the lack of dopamine d2 receptors that take many months to return to baseline functioning. The lack of sufficient d2 receptors is a primary reason that many drug addicts and alcoholics fail at abstinence during the first 90 days of their recovery.


The old timer's wisdom of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous of 90 meetings in 90 days has real efficacy for it gives the recovery process time to work and gives the brain time to heal.



Rick Murphy, M.A.

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  1. Addict

    My initial thoughts - is there an effective treatment to increase the number of dopamine receptors on the cell; out side of denying dopamines availability?

    • Addict

      Great post. I personally have a co-occuring condition so whenever I relapsed I got manic and ended up in the hospital. During My last hospitalization I stayed in there for two months so my dopamine receptors and other receptors in the brain could rejuvenate. Recovery from addiction began there. I called someone I knew that was in AA and now I got 2 years going on 3.

  2. Addict

    As what I have read from an article, Dopamine is given to patients with Parkinson's disease and dystonia. This is given to patients with this kind of diseases because it can cross the blood-brain barrier. I only knew then that this is also given to alcoholic person and addicted to drugs.
    ____________________

    cutie_tech123
    Comprehensive resources for those looking for recovery from addiction.
    http://www.addictionrecovery.net

  3. Addict

    Once you know you are addicted the next step is to stop thinking about it and work on recovering from it.

    ........................
    Micheal Smith
    Suffering from an addiction. This website has a lot of great resources and treatment centers. http://www.treatmentcenters.org
    http://www.treatmentcenters.org

  4. Addict

    Rick, I am very interested in the biochemical and physiological aspects of alcohol addiction. What are your clinical sources for the dopamine information? Any other sources you would recommend?

    Thanks

  5. Addict

    The most important point that was made and that most non-recovery people don't understand is that once a person becomes addicted they effect the number of domapine receptors. As is the case with Opiates (Heroin) the reduce the number of receptor cites. Opiates kill pain. Dompaine helps a person feel pleasure. If Opiates kill pain and effectively reduce the dopamine receptors than when the addict stops using they will feel a whole new level of increased pain...hence horrible withdrawal symptoms. But not only that, the effects of this increase pain will last in some forms for months. Now your an heroin addict and you going through that and your mind tells yout if you get high you won't experience the on-going pain. Now I ask you, what are you going to do?

  6. Addict

    I have for many yrs been aware n have learnt about dopamine or rather the lack of this in ALOT OF PPLE,(pple who rnt even aware of this)..
    I became enlightened?, i suppose as my family on 1 side has a total lack of dopamines and a total lack of awareness regarding this. my father who i do not see, irrelivant really, but he has always been an alcoholic as was most of his family..he has now been affected with the parkinsons disease. on the other side, my mother has a total addiction to many things, n a total lack of honesty or awareness also about this.As a nurse know this is not a disease that has a VERIFIED trigger but rather many triggers.
    i think, a chemical imbalance in the brain is a hormonal, genetic and chemical imbalance, which can b exurberated by 2 parents being affected.. also by brain damage, in any way..
    a ladk of dopamines is something i\'\'m very interested in as i do nt believe in using medication to control this. as i also believe that pple with a lack of dopamines have an adverse reaction to socalled legal medication. hence the reason why pple with this condition continue to abuse or have issues with substances that some can easily walk away from. pple mostly with this condition know its not right but they seem to not b able to control it. its like driving beyond a persons control, the car is way out of sinc?
    i\'m very interested in hearing from other pple n their own xperiences with this subject.
    i know i have a lack of dopamines, its obvious to myself as to my family history n the history of my own life. i hope i\'m making sense, it is late.lol.
    please reply if u have any way etc on how to manage this without drugs etc..
    regards..
    to all like minded pple..

  7. Addict

    hi well i am a drug adicct and i have tried rehab many times and never recovered i found a doctor that said its becaese of this and i am now being treated with dopamine, he asures me its not a drug i feal a lot better and with this and my AA meatings its muh easier and I dont feal the need of any drug anymore

  8. Addict

    While I do believe that addiction is a disease, I do not think that medication is the sole way to solve the problem. There are innumerable biological and chemical reactions that occur within an addict?s brain while they are using drugs?but there are also even more physiological reactions that occur before and after the drugs are administered into the body (aka the brain processes that cause ?craving?). For this reason, I do believe that medication is appropriate in the treatment of drug addiction. Medication that inhibits neural dopamine receptors help to diminish the alertness of the brain?s pleasure centers. This enables the addict to fight their cravings. However, studies have also shown that these medications can have extreme negatives effects, causing an extremely under-stimulated reward center?causing depression. For this reason, I think that even though medication can assist in the cure of drug addiction, I do not believe that it should be the only solution. If treatment were to include medication as well as some type of therapy, then I do believe that medicinal treatment would be appropriate. That way, therapeutic techniques would not only help the drug addict on his way to recovery, but it would also help to prevent the extreme side effects of the medication.

  9. Addict

    While I do believe that addiction is a disease, I do not think that medication is the sole way to solve the problem. There are innumerable biological and chemical reactions that occur within an addict?s brain while they are using drugs?but there are also even more physiological reactions that occur before and after the drugs are administered into the body (aka the brain processes that cause ?craving?). For this reason, I do believe that medication is appropriate in the treatment of drug addiction. Medication that inhibits neural dopamine receptors help to diminish the alertness of the brain?s pleasure centers. This enables the addict to fight their cravings. However, studies have also shown that these medications can have extreme negatives effects, causing an extremely under-stimulated reward center?causing depression. For this reason, I think that even though medication can assist in the cure of drug addiction, I do not believe that it should be the only solution. If treatment were to include medication as well as some type of therapy, then I do believe that medicinal treatment would be appropriate. That way, therapeutic techniques would not only help the drug addict on his way to recovery, but it would also help to prevent the extreme side effects of the medication.

  10. Addict

    After being addict for 30 plus years I know what is working for me is NA,a good sponser,Faith in yourself,and WORKING the 12 steps.

  11. Addict

    It is a facinating subject of attracting pleasure or euphoria. Yes Neural dopamine receptors are responsible for this high feeling but a study should be made on what our society call good addictions. Religion, patriotism, love, and family. Are these good addictions taken to extremes not driven by pleasure and a euphoria feeling. I think our cures for the true chemical addict is to point them to the good addictions. My point is society is the cause of large number of addictions-good or bad. It just us euphoria seeking people tendd to find the easiest path. Help!!

  12. Addict

    Looking for advice from recoverig/recovered addicts on how to best handle a spouces addiction.

  13. Addict

    I found your page by search engine. What I experienced was nothing short of extraordinary. I had alcohol brain damage from daily drinking for 27 years. It took a year to restore the chemical imbalance. I felt it 'leave me'. My face felt like needles poking it like some TV channel with no station. The crazy was gone. No obcessions. Wow. I think that was supposed to be permanent. I wasn't willing to re-injure myself by continued drinking. Most people aren't willing to wait that long. Once the 'crazy' is gone, you can wait long as you want. I think what I went through was rare. I'm sure some ex-drunk over in Russia drinking vodka might understand what I'm talking about.

  14. Addict

    I found your page by search engine. What I experienced was nothing short of extraordinary.For this reason, I do believe that medication is appropriate in the treatment of drug addiction. Medication that inhibits neural dopamine receptors help to diminish the alertness of the brain's pleasure centers.

    This enables the addict to fight their cravings.i also believe that people with a lack of dopamine have an adverse reaction to so called legal medication. hence the reason why people with this condition continue to abuse or have issues with substances that some can easily walk away from.

    ===========================
    mike
    ===========================

  15. Addict

    I've been off Oxy (for spinal injuries) for 1 1/2 years. Detox was hell! Dr then prescribed Tramadol which for me was mildly addictive & didn't help pain much. So I stopped taking it 2 months ago. I know the pain is chronic but am hoping my brain will learn to process some dopamine naturally. Is there a way out of this agony?

    • Addict

      Hi MY dr is now treating me for valium withdrawals a nightmare to me she doesn't want me on any antidepressants so she has put me on Circadin (melatonin) a chemical which the brain shld produce naturally but i have had to pay a fair bit for them they r supposed to also help me sleep but so far for 3 days it hasnt going through the withdrawls is terrible I'm also on oxycontin 80mg per day for chronic back pain how i will reduce that is another story.

  16. Addict

    This is very true. I am a sort of an addict and my doctor also says the same thing. I know about addiction now.

  17. Addict

    My question is this,
    Do these receptors in the brain and ability to create Dopamine, Seratonin, etc recover? If so, how long does it take?

    I have been taking Oxycodone around the clock for chronic back pain for about 10 months and at first it was great. Over time, a depression and lack of ability to think, plan and even do the most routine things became less tolerable than the pain.

    I wasn't even taking high doses but was on it constantly. I have weaned myself completely off of it, about 3 weeks ago or more, but the depression remains. Actually more of an apathy and lack of all feeling, good or bad.

    I am going through the motions hoping that people won't notice. If they truly know me, it must be obvious. Trying to appear normal has caused a great sense of isolation because I can't tell others how I feel. (Better said, how I don't feel).

    I didn't intend to go into all of this but I have been deeply encouraged by the testimony of others on these blogs, that somehow I know I am not alone.

    Back to my question, if I continue to abstain from Oxycodone, will I be able to 'feel' again and how long will it take? I have 2 young sons and it is absolutely devastating to me as a mother to lack proper emotions for even those dearest to me. I do not want to take any anti-depressants, to me that seems like the same trap.

  18. Addict

    Thanks for sharing this. I've read this a while ago in our Drug Rehabilitation Program, drugrehab123.com

  19. Addict

    You have some great information, I am grateful you have decided to share it with the rest of us. Thank you.

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