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Witnessing the habit of a friend or friend is a heart-rending adventure. yet desire can be triumphant, as proven during this compelling new booklet. the following, the gripping tales of fathers, moms, sons, and daughters of addicts supply vital classes on loving, detachment, intervention, and self care.
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Additional resources for Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery.
Not only do addicts find it increasingly difficult to experience the pleasurable effects of early substance use, their brains also lose receptivity to the normal pleasures of food, beauty, companionship, and sex. Those ordinary pleasures fail to stimulate the brain, which has been conditioned to the intensity of drug highs. The dogs’ brains released great amounts of dopamine in response to artificial stimulation, but when the dogs were given juicy meat bones, their brains released no dopamine at all.
Psychologically, these feelings can be explained by the phenomenon of association. Most of us are familiar with Ivan Pavlov’s famous experiment in which he conditioned dogs to salivate when a bell was rung. The dogs associated the bell with food, and the ringing triggered the expectation of pleasure. Similarly, addicts associate sets of experiences with pleasure. They can find enjoyment in apparently appalling situations because those situations are associated with the rewarding experience of the substance-induced high.
The refusal to answer the door became a common thread throughout her addiction to cocaine and then to heroin, as did her reluctance to participate in family gatherings or join me in activities she had once enjoyed, such as going to the movies or going out to eat. She became increasingly isolated and treated every overture of kindness from her friends, her siblings, and me as an invasion of her privacy. Her rare interactions with the family usually resulted in scenes of hysteria or tears. Amazingly, through it all, I persisted in my own denial of her drug problems, although they were the obvious explanation of the terrible changes I was seeing in her.
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