Dependence; It is a disease in the brain that causes the unbalanced release of neurotransmitters in the brain as a result of frequent and excessive stimulation of the reward center in the brain. As a result, it includes a clinical picture with a very strong desire for alcohol, substance or addictive behavior despite its harms. So what are neurotransmitters that are out of balance in this addiction and what do they do? dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, noranaline, glutamate, acetylcholine, GABA, histamine, norepinephrine… these are substances that trigger chemical reactions in the brain to determine the mood of the person. Disrupting the balance and working principle of these neurotransmitters, as a result, the most important factor affecting our mood is seen in a brain that has reached the point of addiction.

For this reason, yes, addiction is a disease of the brain that needs to be treated and it is not a matter of the will of the person, it is a vicious circle that the brain falls into by eliminating the will. Even if the person is normally a strong-willed person, anyone who enters this vicious circle has the potential to become addicted and should be treated by experts.

So How Does This Vicious Cycle Work in Substance Use? In the first attempt, the person is under the delusion that he can control and stop himself, and with this thought, he continues to use the substance, and thus, the functioning of the control and reward centers in the user’s brain begins to deteriorate, and the desire to use more substances, in other words, tolerance develops. While this cycle continues, the person falls into the grip of addiction with the withdrawal syndromes that occur in case of not being able to reach the substance. The biggest danger at the beginning of the cycle; They are mental illusions such as “nothing happens once”, “I’ll quit anyway”, “I’m a strong-willed person, I quit when I want”.

So, Are You Really a Social Drinker, Let’s Calculate… Risky Alcohol Use Measures:

1 unit measure: Contains 8-14 grams of ethanol

1 What does a unit measure correspond to? : Half double raki, whiskey, gin and 1 glass of wine corresponds to 1 can of beer.

More than 14 measures per week for men

Consumption of more than 7 glasses of alcohol per week is risky for women.

According to these calculation measures, no more than 3 units of alcohol should be consumed per day and alcohol should not be consumed at least two days a week. But if the person is addicted to alcohol should not drink any alcohol.

What are the Types of Addictions:

Alcohol and Substance abuse

Nicotine and caffeine addiction

Some behaviors: we call them “Behavioral Addictions”. Behavioral addictions include gaming, technological devices, shopping, sex and gambling addiction. In other words, alcohol and drugs should not come to mind when it comes to addiction. It should be known that behavioral addictions also create a pathological chemical vicious circle in the brain.

As a result of this disease of the brain, which we call addiction, the person starts to lose control while controlling himself, his only goal is to reach the substance, and all his relationships are focused on reaching the substance.

Addicted people are people who live for pleasure. They immediately want to turn to the substance or behavior that will bring pleasure, they are impatient, their boredom threshold is low, and they have little tolerance for rules. They want their wishes to come true quickly and they tend to react beyond social norms to frustration, so both the dependent person and his environment experience many problems. The addicted person begins to lose his functionality in all areas of his life, and when a profit-loss analysis is made, it is seen that the damage part is increasing day by day. He gradually moves away from his old social environment and even starts to interact with people who use alcohol and drugs like himself, and he considers the criteria of being able to access and drink comfortably in the places he goes as his priority. These people avoid long-term activities because they determine the duration of their stay in the places they go according to their craving for the substance. In other words, they act according to the choices of the substance they actually use, not their own when planning their time and in their social life.

The patient usually resorts to treatment with the support or coercion of his/her environment. Many patients avoid seeking treatment before the addiction reaches serious levels, that is, without experiencing financial, moral and health losses, with the fear that they will not be able to get out of the grip they are in. At this point, it should be known that addiction is a disease and can be treated by specialists, but these people also have a lifetime risk of coming to the point of addiction again, so it is very important for the person to take the responsibility of the disease alone, because after the treatment, all kinds of habits, social relationships, and social relationships that created the addiction cycle in the past. He will have to revise his nutrition, hobbies, social activities, and work areas, and he should not neglect to meet with his psychotherapist at certain intervals.

A holistic approach should be applied in the treatment of addiction, both the addicted person, his immediate family and his family are within the scope of the treatment. Namely, some psychological problems may arise as a result of living with or being close to an addicted person in the family. Family members should receive psychological support and psychoeducation for their own psychological problems, including how to treat an addicted person during treatment.

The right treatment should include the family as a part of the rehabilitation program. Because family members experience negative emotions such as disappointment, guilt, denial, hopelessness, anger, shame, and fear constantly and intensely, they have to receive psychological support. It is very important for them to be informed and to receive psychoeducation.

My movie recommendation on our topic: “Another Round” . Martin and his three fellow teachers start an experiment to prove that controlled and certain amount of alcohol opens the mind, and they consume a certain amount of alcohol every day. At the beginning, everything is fine, even fun, but after a while, they start to face the negative results of the experiment. Enjoy watching..

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