Addiction is a family disease

POSTED July 6, 2012  

About 10% of people who, when they choose to drink, will eventually become an alcoholic.  Those who have a parent or close relative who have struggled with addiction are at higher risk to become addicted if they drink.  When alcohol reaches the pleasure center of the brain, a craving is set up that leads to compulsive use.

Addiction is a brain disease that is strongly linked to family history.  A person usually goes through four stages in their journey into addiction.  First, they learn the mood swing (euphoria) which comes with a first drink; a strong desire follows to repeat the experience.  Second, this person plans another mood swing and arranges their schedule to use again.  It is around this time that they cross the line into compulsive use. Third, they enter a time of increased use with periodic loss of control that results in blackouts, loss of insight, and growing delusion.  A person has to consume more to get the desired mood swing.  Fourth, a person enters a black hole where they consume more but experience very little euphoria; they have to use just to feel normal.  At this point a person is experiencing a systematic and comprehensive unraveling of their lives.

An intervention is a process that helps “raise the bottom” for a person, encouraging them to enter treatment.  An interventionist meets several times with family members and friends to help the alcoholic see clearly and feel what has been happening in the lives of those around them, and gives the person the opportunity to get help.

 

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