Addiction Education

Information about addiction that will help you understand your child’s behavior.

How Addiction Affects The Brain & Dopamine

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Once someone is addicted, they’re not using drugs to feel good; they’re using drugs just to feel “normal”.  Behavioral changes are directly linked to the drug user’s changing brain. …

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Why you have to be like Wonder Woman and change your approach to parenting when your child is abusing substances

My robot vacuum (her name is Wonder Woman) reminds me of how I approached my daughter’s substance abuse when it first started. Several days in a row while I was sitting at my desk working, I noticed Wonder Woman was struggling to get into my office.  The transition into my office is higher than the …

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How We’re More Like Our Kids Who Are Abusing Substances Than We Think

Buffering is using any false pleasure like drugs, food, alcohol, shopping, gambling, people, social media, or anything else outside of ourselves to avoid experiencing our feelings.  Those external substances create temporary or momentary feelings of comfort, but they don’t last. It’s a short term solution to a long term problem that often creates more consequences …

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The Teen/young adult brain and how it’s affected by substance abuse

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the part of the brain where risks are assessed, impulses are controlled, and plans are made to reach goals.  The PFC is not fully developed until 25 years old on average.  That is why teens are more likely to engage in risky or impulsive behavior. In addition to your teen’s …

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How your child’s substance abuse affects their natural dopamine levels and what happens when they try to stop using substances

As you read this, keep in mind this is JUST ONE FACTOR, one chemical, that is affected when dealing with substance abuse. Dopamine is the brain’s way of rewarding us or nature’s way of rewarding the brain for activities like eating and sex that are necessary to the survival of our species.  Dopamine makes us …

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