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Psychological Addiction: Meaning, Symptoms, Treatment

Sober Homes

This can be a short-term withdrawal, such as the time between hits or drinks, or the symptoms can manifest in a more intense way as part of a formal detox process. In some cases, the risk factors for development of psychological dependence are related to the specific substance or behavior that one becomes dependent on. However, research looking at addiction has found some general factors that might lead to a higher risk for dependence and addiction. In many cases, psychological dependence is examined in conjunction with drug use. When an individual uses an addictive drug, the drug produces feelings of euphoria, happiness, and pleasure Sober House by changing the way that cells in the brain communicate. Two important neurotransmitters in the brain that are influenced by drugs include dopamine and opioids. Many drugs of addiction cause these neurotransmitters to be released, thus allowing the user to feel pleasure and euphoria. Some substances are more addictive and more likely to cause psychological dependence than other drugs. Drugs that have an increase in certain chemicals that trigger euphoric feelings are the substances that cause psychological drug dependence that leads to addiction. People can become dependent on substances as a coping mechanism for negative emotions.

Furthermore, ethanol concentrations lower than 100 mM are known to potentiate only α2β4, α4β4, α2β2, and α4β2 subtypes of nACh receptors. In contrast, α3β2 and α3β4 subtypes are not affected by these ethanol concentrations, while α7 receptor function is inhibited . Higher ethanol concentrations are less selective and potentiate almost all nACh receptors. It is only recently that a shift from the so-called lipid theory to the protein theory has taken place . Into the 1990s, different lipid theories postulated that alcohol acted via some perturbation of the membrane lipids of CNS neurons.

C. Animal Brain Imaging to Identify the Neuroanatomical and Neurochemical Substrates of Addictive Behavior

A dual diagnosis treatment center includes both mental health treatment and holistic approaches like nutrition, fitness, massage therapy, medication management, and other features that help mend the physical deficits of addiction. Some substance addictions will require special approaches to tackle the physical components. For example, heroin addiction treatment often includes medication-assisted treatment , which are medications and approaches that help ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings that arise during detox and the early days of recovery. More recently, however, researchers have been turning their attention to the evaluation of changes in withdrawal symptoms that extend beyond physical signs of withdrawal—that is, to those symptoms that fall within the domain of psychological distress and dysphoria. This new focus is clinically relevant because these symptoms (e.g., anxiety, negative affect, and altered reward set point) may serve as potent instigators driving motivation to drink . Sensitization resulting from repeated withdrawal cycles and leading to both more severe and more persistent symptoms therefore may constitute a significant motivational factor that underlies increased risk for relapse .

Wand GS, Dobs AS. Alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in actively drinking alcoholics. Miller NS, Gold MS. Dissociation of “conscious desire” from and relapse in alcohol and cocaine dependence. Prolonged exposure to intermittent alcohol vapors blunts hypothalamic physiological dependence on alcohol responsiveness to immune and non-immune signals. Characterization of a pentylenetetrazol-like interoceptive stimulus produced by ethanol withdrawal. Fahlke C, Hard E, Hansen S. Facilitation of ethanol consumption by intracere-broventricular infusions of corticosterone.


282 Lovinger DM, White G. Ethanol potentiation of 5-hydroxytryptamine3 receptor-mediated ion current in neuroblastoma cells and isolated adult mammalian neurons. 269 Lewohl JM, Wilson WR, Mayfield RD, Brozowski SJ, Morrisett RA, Harris RA. G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channels are targets of alcohol action. 250 Koob GF, Le Moal M. Drug addiction, dysregulation of reward, and allostasis. 228 Kalivas PW. Neurotransmitter regulation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

318 Mihic SJ, Ye Q, Wick MJ, Koltchine VV, Krasowski MD, Finn SE, Mascia MP, Valenzuela CF, Hanson KK, Greenblatt EP, Harris RA, Harrison NL. Sites of alcohol and volatile anaesthetic action on GABA and glycine receptors. 314 Merikangas KR, Risch NJ, Weissman MM. Comorbidity and co-transmission of alcoholism, anxiety and depression. 291 Maldonado F, Valverde O, Berrendero F. Involvement of the endocannabinoid system in drug addiction. 289 Machu TK, Harris RA. Alcohols and anesthetics enhance the function of 5-hydroxytryptamine3 receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

In this situation, the only thing that matters is getting the substance and using the substance. Alcohol dependence refers to an entity in which only alcohol is the involved addictive agent. Alcoholism refers to an entity in which alcohol or any cross-tolerant addictive agent is involved. Suboxone clinic that is dedicated to help as many patients as we can to overcome their addiction and begin to live life at its fullest once again. It’s important to remember that you can recover from substance use disorder, whether you notice it during the dependency stage or when you’re already addicted. NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. At RECO Institute, we offer sober living facilities that offer the ideal healing environment and innovative therapeutic supports.

  • 490 Thiele TE, Marsh DJ, Ste Marie L, Bernstein IL, Palmiter RD. Ethanol consumption and resistance are inversely related to neuropeptide Y levels.
  • The biological explanation for this phenomenon is most likely to be that prenatal and postnatal stress can alter the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis .
  • Gauvin DV, Youngblood BD, Holloway FA. The discriminative stimulus properties of acute ethanol withdrawal in rats.
  • Given these findings, life stress-induced alterations in HPA activity may well account for the observation that stressful life events can trigger heavy drinking, alcohol abuse, and addictive behavior in humans .
  • In comparison, the alcohol consumption per capita in North America in the last decade averaged 8.5 liters per year (Fig. 1).


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