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Addiction

Mental Health

Addiction stems from a dysfunction in the limbic system – an ancient part of the brain that consists of “reward” centers that control emotions, motivated behavior, and memory. A person with an addiction will compulsively use a substance, reenact behaviors, or perform activities that are physically, psychologically, and/or socially harmful with little regard for consequences. Common addictions are the use of substances (opiates, alcohol, methamphetamines, nicotine, etc.) and addictive behaviors such as gambling or sex. Drug addiction is considered a chronic disease in which an addict’s brain will change, making it exceedingly difficult for a person to resist the urge to take drugs despite the detrimental effects. People who have an addiction are highly susceptible to a cycle of relapse and remission of the addictive behavior or substance use. Addictions worsen with time and can lead to serious health problems, financial duress, and, in extreme cases, death. Fortunately, there are abundant resources for people struggling with addiction. If you are concerned you are faced with an addiction of any sort, know you are not alone, and help is available.

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