By Vatsal Thakkar, Pat Levitt
A heritage of habit covers how and why humans turn into hooked on quite a few medications, foodstuff, or actions, and the way addictions could be treated...Title: .Addiction..Author: .Thakkar, Vatsal, M.D...Publisher: .Facts on File..Publication Date: .2006/07/01..Number of Pages: .128..Binding style: .LIBRARY..Library of Congress: .2006004995
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Extra info for Addiction
He plans to attend daily AA meetings for the next two months. He is also in the middle of a career switch, so he can remove himself from the daily proximity to alcohol. He has obtained an entry-level marketing job with an entertainment company, which requires office meetings with corporate clients rather than long evenings in smoky bars with musicians. Like many addictions, Jerry’s problem began with casual use that grew out of control over time. Jerry entered his addiction with the knowledge of his family history of alcoholism.
The first time a person drinks alcohol, he or she may be intensely affected by just half a drink. If alcohol consumption becomes a routine event, however, the effect of alcohol usually diminishes and larger amounts are needed to provide the same effect. This is drug tolerance in action. THE ADDICTION CIRCUIT Psychological dependence has several features. One of the main ones is that it involves the reward or pleasure center of the brain—the nucleus accumbens (NA). The nucleus accumbens is a relatively tiny area that can exert its influence over the entire brain.
THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON THE HUMAN BODY Even occasional use of alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful to the fetus. Babies born to women who engage in moderate to severe alcohol use may exhibit fetal alcohol syndrome. This condition, in its most serious form, causes physical deformities and mental retardation in the newborn. The safest option for a pregnant woman is to not drink any alcohol at all, since no safe level has ever been determined. Alcohol overdose is a serious matter. Thousands of people, 6–12 drinks over 1 hour: (blood alcohol content reaches 300–600 mg/100 ml) • hypothermia or hyperthermia (body temperature that is too low or too high) • unresponsiveness with no movement • shallow breathing • can lead to death * Keep in mind that different people react differently to alcohol and that many factors determine what effects alcohol will have on a given person.