DEFINITION Per American Society of
• A primary, chronic disease of brain reward,
motivation , memory and related circuitry.
• This leads to biological, psychological, social,
and spiritual manifestations.
• This is reflected in an individual pathologically
pursuing reward and/or relief by use of
substances and/or other behaviors.
• Continued use will cause negative
consequences, yet is continued at all cost
• Becomes a primary or only mechanism for
• Exists for our survival
• Activates strongly for food and sex
• Activates any time “well being’ is felt
• THIS IS THE BRAIN SAYING----”This activity is
good and enjoyable. Recommend repeating
as soon as possible.”
Dysfunction in this brain mechanism
• Driving behaviors found to stimulate the
pleasure center despite negative
• Genetic to some extent
• Social and past experiences to a large extent
The Key Is This
• Addicted folks are not getting stimulation of
the pleasure center normally in their lives.
• We must therefore find something else to
trigger this pleasure center response. We
• When something is tried or taken and
euphoria follows, this sets the trap.
Back to definition
• Dysfunction in pleasure center circuitry causes
– Behavior (psychologically)
• How quickly can someone become addicted?
• ANSWER: Very QUICKLY
• You can see it in the practice of Emergency
Medicine with Opioids-
– 10 kidney stone patients
• Find what pleases. It is the first priority.
• We need it now.
• Nothing will deter us as our survival depends
THIS IS WHY YOU CAN NOT LEGISLATE
Continued behavior despite negative
• Drug use—overdoses and repeated law
• Food- early type 1 and 2 diabetes. Childhood
diabetes highest rate ever and climbing. Early
death coming for 70 million people
• Nicotine- cancer, heart disease, stroke, COPD
So now what does the addict do?
• Continues behaving the same or using
• Isolates, lies. Uses more or intensifies
behaviors due to tolerance
• Breaks the law if needed to fulfill the reward
center. Gains 10 more pounds, gambles away
last of paycheck.
• Close family and friends
• Stop unhealthy behaviors quickly
• Open communication with loved ones
• Encourage healthy activities with family,
• Do not take narcotic pain meds
• Limit social media
• Dispose of all unused medications promptly
• Decide today how you and your children will
cope with hardship that is sure to come.
• Avoid risky behaviors-
– Teen drinking
– Marijuana use
– Unsupervised social media
– Lax rules, curfew, etc.
– Promote spirituality of your choice in the home
• Addiction requires treatment like any chronic
• Confront, offering help but not being co-
dependent (Hard Love)
• IOP, In-patient treatment, meetings, sponsor
• Use law enforcement as last resort
• Sometimes legal enforcement is life-saving