Using hypnosis for weight loss and smoking cessation programs is well recognized for its success.
What can I be addicted to?
The "brain reward region" is the part of the brain, which is
sensitive to addictive behaviors involving the use of illicit drugs (heroin,
cocaine), prescription drugs (amphetamines, barbiturates, antidepressants),
legal drugs (nicotine, alcohol, caffeine) foods (chocolate, sugar, and
carbohydrates), but also to compulsive and destructive activities and behaviors
(sex, exercise, work, shopping, gambling).
What makes an activity, food, and drug qualify as an addiction? Craving
(excessive physical need ), Salience (thinking about the next high), Euphoria
(produce a stimulating feeling), Tolerance (the need for more), Withdrawl
(produces stress, depression, anxiety), Conflict (causes health problems),
Relapse (quit and start over), Guilt (feeling remorse after use).
Why are we addicted?
Many scientists are
convinced that what ties all of the mood-altering drugs and behaviors together
are the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, serotonin, GABA, and
endorphins. These neurotransmitters are responsible for how we feel, think, and
act. According to Dr. Nora Volkow (2018), scientists have confirmed the brain
reward regions and dopamine's role in addiction through brain imaging studies
of humans addicted to substances. Her study observes the dopamine receptor D2
(DRD2) gene associated with impulse control in the brain. Continued drug use
can cause changes in the brain that can affect a person suffering from
addictions, specifically self-control and the ability to control urges. Dr.
Volkow of Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York has published the most
substantial evidence about the surge of dopamine in the brains of addicts
Volkow (2018) theorizes that chemically
dependent individuals are born with fewer receptor sites to produce adequate
amounts of the (feel good) neurotransmitters. This may explain why a person
starts using drugs, to begin with, to get high, but in the end, they take them
to avoid feeling low. Drugs are the quickest and most potent way to boost our
neurotransmitters. However, the cycle of drinking, drugging, and poor food
choices fool the brain, slowing down the cell's production of these
neurotransmitters, leaving the brain starved for its natural amino acid
(protein) fuel. Research has shown that successful addiction treatment requires
raising these deficiencies with natural amino acids and mood-altering
activities to give us that "natural high" we are lacking (Volkow,
Urges Within- Creating Healthy Addictions: Rockin' Recovery