The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and

The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and

The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine [KINDLE] ❃ The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine Author Michael Kuhar – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk Addiction destroys lives In The Addicted Brain, leading neuroscientist Michael Kuhar, PhD explains how and why this happens and presents advances in drug addiction treatment and prevention Using breat Addiction destroys lives In The Addicted Brain, leading Brain: Why eBook ☆ neuroscientist Michael Kuhar, PhD explains how and why this happens and presents advances in drug addiction treatment and prevention Using breathtaking brain imagery and other research, Kuhar shows The Addicted PDF/EPUB or the powerful, long term brain changes that drugs can cause, revealing why it can be so difficult for addicts to escape their grip Discover why some people are far susceptible to addiction than others as the author Addicted Brain: Why PDF/EPUB Ã illuminates striking neural similarities between drugs and other pleasures potentially capable of causing abuse or addiction including alcohol, gambling, sex, caffeine, and even Internet overuse Kuhar concludes by outlining thecharacteristics most often associated with successful drug addiction treatment Authoritative and easy to understand, The Addicted Brain offers today s most up to date scientific explanation of addiction and what addicts, their families, and society can do about it.


10 thoughts on “The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine

  1. Morgan Blackledge Morgan Blackledge says:

    I am a MA level psychotherapist, and Registered Addiction Specialist intern currently working at a methadone clinic in the extremely impacted area of South Los Angeles We are a medical and psycho educational program i.e we provide our clients with the facts about their disease and counsel them in evidenced based, medically sound practices I work with people suffering from addiction all day, every day A lot of the information covered in this book is information I provide my clients and their I am a MA level psychotherapist, and Registered Addiction Specialist intern currently working at a methadone clinic in the extremely impacted area of South Los Angeles We are a medical and psycho educational program i.e we provide our clients with the facts about their disease and counsel them in evidenced based, medically sound practices I work with people suffering from addiction all day, every day A lot of the information covered in this book is information I provide my clients and their family members as a part of our model In short, psychological education, specifically education regarding the brain and addiction behavior has been found to significantly improve the chances of recovery i.e the information in the book saves lives It could save your life It could help you save the life of another It is helping me do my job This book is exceptional It s important You need to read this book, or one like it, if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction This book describes, in clear accurate detail, what addiction is and is not Addiction is a brain disease Addiction is not a moral failure or a result of lack of willpower.I actually avoided reading this book for some time based on some of the negative GR reviews What a bad mistake Particularly when considering that some of the harsher GR reviews of this book were given by people who didn t bother to actually read the whole book I consider these types of half baked, lazy reviews to be utterly irresponsible considering the potential benefit this information could bring Pleas read the whole book before you post a potentially damaging negative review Admittedly, this book begins by reviewing some pretty fundamental information But after covering some important basics, the author drops some serious science on this tragically misunderstood issue Reading the book may take some work, but hang in there If you give up after 1 or 2 chapters, you miss the huge payout If you re interested in the subject of addiction, this is a must read This book achieves what few others do, accessibility, clarity and accuracy Most popularizations of scientific research are written by journalists and often fail to be technically accurate Most technically accurate accounts of scientific research is written by scientists and tends to be impenetrable to ordinary humans This book is the best of both worlds Technically accurate information on addiction from the neuro psych perspective, written in ordinary, minimally technical language, from a valid, trustworthy source i.e a seriously accomplished researcher in the field In short, this is a spectacular book I found this book to be incredibly useful, and I m quite sure it will be useful to anyone who wants to learnabout addiction sans the usual unscientific, confusing b.s The book is essentially a systematic summary of some important, current behavioral neuroscience research on addiction The book does a tremendous job of a explaining the research paradigm, in order to b ground the experimental findings in the logic of the experimental method PRICELESS ANIMAL MODELS Self Administration SA is a research paradigm that entails enabling animals mostly lab rats to press a lever to receive a dose of x addictive drug e.g heroin, cocaine etc The lever presses can be precisely counted i.e computer tracked, and variations in lever pressing behavior can be observed and analyzed over time.One example might be let a rat or a group of rats SA cocaine and count the rate of lever pressing over a period of time say 6 months Then replace the cocaine with an inert substance saline solution and count the rate and duration of the lever pressing behavior until extinction i.e until the animal gives up and stops pressing the lever Run the same test on different drugs and it tells you something about the level of addictiveness of those drugs compared to some standard For instance if rats press a lever 10,000 times over 4 months before giving up after 6 months of cocaine SA, and only 100 times for 1 month after 6 months of benzodiazepine SA, than we can posit that cocaine is potentiallyaddictive than benzodiazepines.Further , if you run the same test comparing the SA behavior of the same drug say cocaine on different knockout rats i.e rats with different specific genes removed or added, you can compare the SA behavior to normal rats and begin to see the effects of different specific genes on addiction For instance if rats with the gene for the b2 nicotine receptor SA nicotine 150%than rats without the b2 gene, than we can posit that the b2 gene plays a significant role in nicotine addiction The brains of the animals can also be analyzed via autopsy for any damage or structural alteration that occurs as a result of the substance exposure These animal models can then become instructive for further research on humans, where tighter ethical constraints limit the scope of research STRESS One of the issues discussed in the book is the effects on adverse childhood experiences ACE s i.e early life stress, on vulnerability to drug taking behavior later in life The results cited are pretty interesting In one study, rat pups who were removed from contact with there mother for 1 hour a day, for eight days, and otherwise treated normally,readily self administered cocaine as adults BOOM Stress in general can be an enormously powerful trigger for drug use behavior, but these findings indicate that ACE s may alter the brains of individuals, leaving them evensusceptible to stress in this way.SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS SES Low social status is predictive of violence, financial problems, poor health, feelings of inferiority, anxiety and depression All of these are stressors, and drug use is high in low SES populations One study compared cocaine SA in socially dominant and submissive Makakc monkeys The D2 Dopamine receptors low D2 levels are associated with addictive behavior of a group of monkeys were analyzed during a period of prolonged individual isolation The isolated monkeys were found to have roughly equivalent D2 levels When the same monkeys were allowed to live together, they self assembled into a status hierarchy Later D2 analysis found that dominant high status monkeys had higher D2 levels than submissive low status monkeys Later SA experiments found that the low status low D2 monkeys were significantlylikely to SA cocaine than high status high D2 monkeys ENRICHED ENVIRONMENTS If stressful, low SES environments promote drug use, that what about low stress, enriched, high SES environments, do they have the opposite effect Research indicates yes Environmental enrichment, such as larger cages, exercise wheels and novel toys, reduces SA of cocaine and heroin in rodents The important message is that factors such as stress levels, social status, and environmental richness change the brain in ways that either positively or negatively effect addictive drug use behavior PREFRONTAL CORTEX AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTION Executive function EF is a catchall term for cognitive processes that regulate, control, and manage other cognitive processes For instance planning, directing attention, problem solving, behavioral inhibition and initiation and monitoring of intentional behavior are all aspects of EF EF is the part of our thinking process that enables controlled, intentional, adaptively flexibility behavior as opposed to automatic, reflexive, inflexible behavior Needless to say EF is pretty darn important for living a healthy, productive life, andto the point, EF is exactly what the addict needs to engage in order to curtail drug use behavior and regain control over their lives.The brain region associated with EF is the foremost area of the brain the lobe behind the forehead, unknown as the prefrontal cortex PFC When EF is exercised practiced , the function is strengthened Over time, the PFC is literally measurably enlarged as a result of targeted training of executive function Building EF, or any other cognitive function s is exactly like building a muscle Exercise the muscle, it gets bigger, you get stronger Don t exercise the muscle, it gets smaller, you get weaker ALCOHOL EF AND THE PFC Everyone knows or should know that alcohol impairs judgment executive function But what many fail to understand, is that it does so by impairing the part of the brain regions responsible for judgment the prefrontal cortex It s hard to overemphasize how vital this brain region is If you are a conscious and high functioning person, you are who you are, almost entirely because of the functions performed by your PFC The shocking truth about the long term effects of alcohol use, is that it significantly damages the PFC The volume size of the PFC of long term alcoholics has been found to be significantly less than that of persons suffering from schizophrenia, and less than half of a non impaired individual In other words, alcohol is a neurotoxin that damages the PFC, and in so doing, impairs EF, thereby drastically reducing that individuals ability to regain control over their behavior, one sip at a time Other drugs modify the brain in equivalently damning ways read the book.Severe alcoholics suffer withdrawal symptoms that can literally kill them Any individual in this awful situation is caught in a dreadful trap No amount of suffering will pull them out of it Believe me, they suffer They don t need to sufferThey don t need to feelshame They can no longer do it alone The part of them that could control the behavior is seriously damaged There addicted brains are running the show They need help, ideally from a staff of trained professionals and recovering peers.This book is a perfect companion to Clean Overcoming Addiction and Ending America s Greatest Tragedy by David Sheff At long last, a rational, evidence based approach to addiction and recovery is emerging in American culture And not a moment too soon


  2. Kurt Kurt says:

    I chose this book from theVine program for a few reasons I am a public defender who works with addicts and recovering addicts on a daily basis, and I recently lost a close friend to a drug overdose I wanted to knowabout how the brain functions after substance abuse, and this book did the job Dr Kuhar starts the book very slowly, in a steady Hey kids, this is what a drug is, and this is what a neuron is style, very appropriate for a junior high health class The complexity o I chose this book from theVine program for a few reasons I am a public defender who works with addicts and recovering addicts on a daily basis, and I recently lost a close friend to a drug overdose I wanted to knowabout how the brain functions after substance abuse, and this book did the job Dr Kuhar starts the book very slowly, in a steady Hey kids, this is what a drug is, and this is what a neuron is style, very appropriate for a junior high health class The complexity of the topics discussed slowly increases as Dr Kuhar begins to bring insophisticated topics, like the way that different types of drugs function and the various treatment methods available to patients There are many examples from ethical animal testing with a good disclaimer, right from the beginning, about how and why responsible scientists use animals in experiments , and Dr Kuhar cites a wide variety of recent medical and scientific journals, so the book really feels fresh and relevant I was particularly struck by the developing understanding of long term effects of drug use on the brain a subject that is very relevant for me when it comes to crafting a request for reasonable probation conditions during a plea argument and a surprising support for methadone my clients tell me they are disappointed in methadone programs, which substitute a dangerous addictive substance for a less dangerous one, but Dr Kuhar urges readers to strip the stigma from the problem by asking if anyone considers lifelong insulin injections as a failed method of treating diabetics Dr Kuhar seems to pursue a few goals with this book introducing a layperson to the terminology and methods used by scientific medical specialists in the field of addiction, highlighting a few areas of intense contemporary research, and shifting perceptions of addicts from a position of blame for their choices to a position of empathy for their medical conditions While this isn t a page turner that s likely to enthrall a wide audience, it is a book that will educate a serious reader with an interest in addiction treatment


  3. Josh Muhlenkamp Josh Muhlenkamp says:

    As an assistant prosecutor, I primarily deal with drug cases mostly heroin I estimate that 85% orof our cases are either drug charges trafficking, possession, etc or are theft forgery etc charges in which people were committing the crimes to get money to support their drug habits I read this book in an effort to gain a better understanding of what is going on in the heads of the defendants that I see every day.The biggest thing I take away from this book is that addiction is a brai As an assistant prosecutor, I primarily deal with drug cases mostly heroin I estimate that 85% orof our cases are either drug charges trafficking, possession, etc or are theft forgery etc charges in which people were committing the crimes to get money to support their drug habits I read this book in an effort to gain a better understanding of what is going on in the heads of the defendants that I see every day.The biggest thing I take away from this book is that addiction is a brain disease It s not simply saying, I m not going to take that any A user s brain has to literally heal itself, and that might take a long time years, even.This book extensively explains the science of brain chemistry that explains why certain drugs are addicting, and what they do that causes the addiction


  4. Georgiana Georgiana says:

    Read about 20% from the beginning, then twochapters It s very vague and a lot of it is just blah blah , and the writing is horrid.


  5. Deyth Banger Deyth Banger says:

    The problem is that if you see yourself as a addictYou can t get away from your addiction if you don t see yourself as addict it will make you feel better.


  6. karl and mandy brown karl and mandy brown says:

    One day The Addicted Brain Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine by Michael Kuhar showed up on my Kindle and one night when I couldn t get to sleep right away, I decided to start reading it The book was a pleasant surprise It was easy to read, probably written for the high school level it taught me not only about drug addiction but about myself and it was sensitive while offering hope The book covered the sensitive topic of drug addiction by explaining the mechanisms involved and by p One day The Addicted Brain Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine by Michael Kuhar showed up on my Kindle and one night when I couldn t get to sleep right away, I decided to start reading it The book was a pleasant surprise It was easy to read, probably written for the high school level it taught me not only about drug addiction but about myself and it was sensitive while offering hope The book covered the sensitive topic of drug addiction by explaining the mechanisms involved and by peppering the narrative with case studies of or quotes by people who were addicts or recovering.Drug addiction is a function of the drug, the person, and the environment not all drugs are equally addictive, not everyone responds the same way to a given drug, and environmental factors such as stress and availability influence a person s desire to seek the drug The author also presented figures to illustrate how drugs work in the brain, which were helpful but perhaps not necessary because his descriptions of the figures were quite elaborate seriously, the captions were paragraphs by themselves, which wasn t a bad thing, it was just very thorough.Where the book was the most eye opening personally, however, was when the author discussed withdrawal symptoms for alcohol They can include, for example, irritability, agitation, craving foralcohol, insomnia, sweating, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and even seizures Further, one of the vignettes was about a guy who had ignored the warning signs of heavy drinking and ended up with end stage liver disease While I never considered myself a heavy drinker, I have noticed some of the symptoms Kuhar listed in myself every once in a while I wouldn t have thought they could be related to alcohol It was also humorous when Kuhar mentioned that people commonly think they must hit rock bottom before they are shaken into action and seek treatment Although a crisis can help, it isn t necessary for things to be at an absolute worst before getting help It s funny how when it s said out loud like that, the flaw in the logic that rock bottom is the only trigger for change is so apparent Perhaps it would be good to cut back on the drinking, especially if it can take about three months of treatment for a patient to show significant improvement The book might have been dry at times, but such is the nature of technical matters The author even used first person a time or two who was his editor don t they know this is like a text book, and you should never use first person I kid, but only because of the number of times the author apparently, deliberately used the author when referring to himself But Kuhar was sensitive when discussing people who are addicts Likewise, he concluded with hope It is possible to stop using drugs and begin to lead a normal life Sometimes it is a long road, so it is best to start as soon as possible For this, I say, Thank you, The Addicted Brain Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine, for showing up on my Kindle


  7. Ánderson Ánderson says:

    This book is written by one of the top authorities in the scientific research of addictions This does not mean, however, that it is hard to understand or written only for experts Instead, this book assumes that the reader does not have much of a background and gently takes him her from the basics toadvanced content.PROS The author really knows what he is talking about This book is not a over simplistic or moralistic attempt to say that drugs are bad The author takes the time to explai This book is written by one of the top authorities in the scientific research of addictions This does not mean, however, that it is hard to understand or written only for experts Instead, this book assumes that the reader does not have much of a background and gently takes him her from the basics toadvanced content.PROS The author really knows what he is talking about This book is not a over simplistic or moralistic attempt to say that drugs are bad The author takes the time to explain drug addiction in its many different layers from the molecular changes in the brain synapses, to the behavioral changes of the addict and, evenimportant, the reaction of society towards him her Every scientific term is clearly explained and there are plenty of diagrams, tables and charts to illustrate the points presented Especially significant is the fact that the author introduces the reader to some of the most intriguing questions in the field and the options that researchers are exploring to respondeffectively to the problem of addiction CONS I found it a little surprising that the author quotes text and graphics from Wikipedia in several occasions Wikipedia is, of course, an excellent source of information but for a scholarly and experienced author one would have expected quotes fromstable sources Also, the e book version I read made it a little difficult to follow the graphics and their description but I am thinking this should not be a problem with the paperback or PDF version Finally, although it was not the main focus of the author I felt that there should have been a deeper exploration of other kinds of addictions There is one chapter dealing with gambling, nicotine, alcohol, sex, and others However, the section about sex addiction was very disappointing as it deviates and repeats contents from the previous section without really giving much information about that topic which I think is very relevant as well CONCLUSION This book is important, seriously important I have never had any experience with drugs but I live in a place where just by going to the corner I can see children, teenagers and adults consumed by drug addiction The influence of drugs in our present world is too significant to be ignored I dare to say this book is indispensable 1 for anyone who has an issue with drugs whether directly or indirectly involved Even if this is not the case, this book is relevant for 2 anyone who feels responsible for helping people and for making this world a better place As a representative of the second group to me it was refreshing and enlightening to be reminded of the physiological consequences of drug addiction and the social stigmas that society has so carelessly put of drug addicts As the author hints throughout the book, addictions are present in many different ways and, if not with drugs, it is likely that we ourselves are experiencing or have experienced such bondage This is a must read, period


  8. Katrice Katrice says:

    This is an extremely useful book to include in one s repertoire of resources in my opinion I like how he broke down terms and illustrated certain key points with research studies charts, graphs, etc Although, it s an easy read you feel smarter after reading it, lol I also like how he incorporated other dependency s that people go through but society has a tendency to overlook such as nicotine, food, sex and gambling Overall, this is a resourceful book and would encouraged anyone who i This is an extremely useful book to include in one s repertoire of resources in my opinion I like how he broke down terms and illustrated certain key points with research studies charts, graphs, etc Although, it s an easy read you feel smarter after reading it, lol I also like how he incorporated other dependency s that people go through but society has a tendency to overlook such as nicotine, food, sex and gambling Overall, this is a resourceful book and would encouraged anyone who is interested in getting a better understanding how substances or dependency issues impact the brain, recovery, environment etc


  9. Thomas Kenney Thomas Kenney says:

    I was hoping the author would delveinto the neuroscience of addiction, but he at least does some of that It s certainly better than a purely self help book I especially approve of his efforts to soften our attitudes and self righteousness about drug addicts However, it may just be me, but I felt the writing was fairly awkward throughout the book One example is that the author will alternately refer to himself in the first person and third person perspectives Overall, the author s voic I was hoping the author would delveinto the neuroscience of addiction, but he at least does some of that It s certainly better than a purely self help book I especially approve of his efforts to soften our attitudes and self righteousness about drug addicts However, it may just be me, but I felt the writing was fairly awkward throughout the book One example is that the author will alternately refer to himself in the first person and third person perspectives Overall, the author s voice is a bit confused here I d still recommend this book though to anyone interested in learningabout drug addiction


  10. Michele Michele says:

    I realize this is a science book, but it was tedious reading about cellular function and brain chemistry throughout the entire book The graphs and charts were helpful, but again, tedious There were a couple of redeeming qualities when discussing treatment options and the stigma of addiction I made myself finish this book because I hoped it would help me understand addiction and how to help an addict I wouldn t recommend this book to anyone looking for answers about how to help someone who I realize this is a science book, but it was tedious reading about cellular function and brain chemistry throughout the entire book The graphs and charts were helpful, but again, tedious There were a couple of redeeming qualities when discussing treatment options and the stigma of addiction I made myself finish this book because I hoped it would help me understand addiction and how to help an addict I wouldn t recommend this book to anyone looking for answers about how to help someone who is caught in addiction There are so many better books out there on this subject


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