The Effects of Addiction on Brain Functioning


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The Effects of Addiction on Brain Functioning

  1. 1. The Effects of Addictionon Brain Function& Effects of Brain Function on AddictionLynda Steele, LCSWPartner, The Center for Transpersonal TherapyClinical Director, Project
  2. 2. Use, Abuse, Dependence, or AddictionUse = Coping StrategyAbuse = Psychopathology, defined as the overuse or misuse of a coping strategyDependencePhysical = Tissue TolerancePsychological Dependence/ Classical ConditioningAddiction = A Bio/Psycho/Social Disorder
  3. 3. JELLINEKSYPTOMATIC USE OF CHEMICALSInitial Stage of Disease (PRODROMAL PHASE)Increase of Tolerance BioTemporary Loss of Memory BioSneaking Chemical PsychoPreoccupation with chemical use Bio/ PsychoHurried ingestion of chemicals BioAvoidance of reference to Psycho/ Socialpersonal chemical useLoss of memory becomes more frequent Bio
  4. 4. JELLINEKInitial Stage of Disease(PRODROMAL PHASE)Homeostasis Creates Tissue ToleranceHippocampus Memory Deterioration(Short Term & Sequential Memory)Procedural Memory/ Unconscious MemoryStrengthens
  5. 5. JELLINEKMiddle Stage of Disease (CRUCIAL or BASIC PHASE)Loss of control BioAlibis and excuses PsychoReproof by significant others SocialExtravagance (money, time, advice) Bio/ PsychoAggression BioPersistent remorse Psycho/ SocialPeriodic abstinence PsychoChange in chemical usage pattern Bio/ Psycho/ SocialLoss of friendships Bio/ Psycho/ SocialLoss of position or clients Bio/ Psycho/ SocialSignificant others change habits Bio/ Psycho/ Social(wife, etc.)First Treatment Bio/ Psycho/ SocialResentments – (unreasonable) Bio/ Psycho/ SocialEscape (geographical, psychological, Bio/ Psychosocial)Protecting supply BioMorning usage of chemical Bio
  6. 6. JELLINEKMiddle Stage of Disease(CRUCIAL or BASIC PHASE)Hippocampus – MemoryAmygdala – EmotionSeptum – PleasureCingulate Cortex – Pain
  7. 7. JELLINEKFinal/Late Stage of Disease – (CHRONIC PHASE)More or less continuous use of Biochemicals beyond an 18 hour periodEthical deterioration BioInconsistent inappropriate thinking (lying) BioDecrease of tolerance BioIndefinable fears BioTremors BioPsycho-motor inhibitions BioRecognition Psycho/ Social
  8. 8. JELLINEKFinal/Late Stage of Disease(CHRONIC PHASE)Includes distortion in all Midbrainfunction & thus distortion incommunications with PrefrontalCortex
  9. 9. Prefrontal Cortexprefrontal cortex n. The frontmost portion of the frontallobe, in front of the primary and secondary motor cortex,uniquely large in the human brain, involved in anxiety and alsoin brain functions such as working memory, abstract thinking,social behavior, and executive functions such as decision makingand strategic planning, any or all of which are affected by lesionsin this area. The right prefrontal cortex is involved in monitoringbehavior, resisting distractions, and providing an awareness ofself and of time.See also attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, delayed-response task, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, objectpermanence, orbitofrontal cortex, ventromedial cortex.PFC abbrev.Midbrain communicates directly with PrefrontalCortex; Prefrontal Cortex places meaning.
  10. 10. Limbic Systemlimbic system n. A ring of cortical and subcortical structures foldedinto the inner surface of the temporal lobe surrounding the brainstemand bordering on the corpus callosum, including theamygdala, cingulategyrus, fornix, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and septumpellucidum, implicated in basic emotions, hunger, sex, and memory.See also Papez circuit, pleasure centre. [From Latin limbicusbordering, from limbus a border]“Capable of dishing out pleasurable as well as frighteningemotions.”“Purpose of a reward system in a primitive brain is to ensureadaptation.”“Connects key parts of the midbrain with the higher thought/cerebral cortex.”“Emotional thermostat, it tags emotions as hot or cold. Hot is toremembered & cold is to be forgotten.” (Ronald Kotulak, Inside the Brain)STOP & GO switches; set into motion cravings & pursuit ofalcohol & drugs
  11. 11. Amygdala (emotions)“long-term memory associated with emotionallyarousing events”“fear conditioning; aversive learning mediatedby““anxiety disorders”“intact inhibitory system is essential”“selective blocking of inhibition produces anuncontrolled anxiety-like state.” (Sanders &Shekhar, 1995)
  12. 12. Hippocampus (memory acquisition)“memory enhanced for emotional events.”“emotional memory = amygdala & hippocampus, both arerecruited during aversion & anticipation of aversiveevents”“Vorel et al. reported that stimulation of the hippocampus at thetafrequency caused reinstatement of drug-taking behavior. It is suggestedthat the hippocampal stimulation may cause a “read-out of an encodedassociation between the context of the cocaine experience” and thecocaine. In an accompanying news article, the lead author was quotedas claiming to have “anatomically located the relapse circuits in thebrain.”“It has long been established that the hippocampus has an importantrole in inhibiting previously acquired and now irrelevant responses,among other functions in organizing memorieshippocampal stimulation may have reinstated drug-taking behavior bydisrupting the hippocampuss role in inhibiting the newly irrelevantbehavior”
  13. 13. Hippocampus(memory acquisition)IN SUMMARY,drug taking disrupts the process of theinhibitory function of the hippocampusrendering everything as relevant.
  14. 14. Septum (pleasure, reproduction)septum pellucidum n. part of the limbic system and one of themost important of the pleasure centers of the brainelectrical stimulation of this area producing intensely agreeablesensations of well-being in humans.Experimental rats with access to levers to control the output ofelectrodes implanted semi-permanently in their septal areasself-stimulate themselves for long periods“Pleasure Circuit”NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS (NA)VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA (VTA)Reward & ReinforcementAttentionThis is what research indicates getting “hijacked” as a result ofdrug dependence.
  15. 15. Cingulate cortex(pain & visceral responses)“the brain’s error detection and correction device.”“decreased activity leads to compulsive drug administrationand the lack of control over drug intake in the drug-addictedindividual.”“elevated activity leads to tics, obsessive-compulsivebehaviors, & aberrant social behavior. ““reduced activity can also lead to diminished self-awareness & depression, motor neglect & impaired motorinitiation, reduced responses to pain, & aberrant socialbehavior.”“Overall plays a crucial role in initiation, motivation, & goal-directed behaviors.”
  16. 16. Thalamusthalamus n. (pl. thalami) relay stations for allthe sensory messages other than smell.“conscious awareness of messages assensations – temperature, pain, touch beginshere”“relays sensory information to the cerebralcortex & is also concerned with the translationof impulses into conscious sensations.”
  17. 17. CLASSICAL CONDITIONINGProcedural Memory – UnconsciousOccurs in Hippocampus ofthe Limbic SystemThe strongest form of classical conditioningis intermittent positive/ negativereinforcement.Example – Trauma/ Addiction
  18. 18. VERNON JOHNSON’S CYCLE OF SHAMESHAME: Feeling/ Thinking Badly About Who I AmGUILT: Feeling/ Thinking Badly About What I Do
  19. 19. Threat/ Arousal/ Endorphins(Pleasure) CycleMammals conditioned with learnedhelplessness will always return to the originalscene of the shock rather than pursue effectiveescape.Endorphinergic Reward Systems in the BrainUnconscious Reward StimulusTraumatic Reenactment“Addiction to Trauma”- van der Kolk (1989)
  20. 20. Capacityvs.Ability?
  21. 21. Long-Term Recovery =Managing Chronic DiseasePhysicalHealthy/ Safe/ Secure “Animal”NutritionExerciseSleep/ RestMedication
  22. 22. PsychologicalIndividuate through Self AwarenessAcceptanceSymptoms of DiseaseLossesWisdom LearnedSurrenderSelfLife on Life’s Terms
  23. 23. Social/ SpiritualDevelop A Healthy, Supportive, Social CommunityDevelop A Spiritual Practice That IncludesPrinciples:AdmissionAcceptanceSurrenderAsking for HelpService to OthersBringing The Gift Home
  24. 24. Supporting Leaps of Faith