American society of alcoholism (1950) was changed to The American Society of Addiction Medicine in 1989. In 2011 they released the latest definition of addiction which clarifies the obvious highs or relief substances offer, as a dysfunction in the brain, particularly in the reward centre, causing pleasure seeking behavior, there are other useful theories. Substance abuse or Addiction can take hold at a young age or develop later in life.
The Hijacked brain theory: The human reward system is designed for survival but is now hijacked by the payoffs provided by the addiction. The reward circuitry normally bookmarks important things like: food, nurturing children, education, work and friendships, however it is now corrupted by the immediate and overwhelming rewards of the addiction.
Self-medicating theory; is the idea that people develop addiction to compensate for untreated underlying problems such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, abuse etc
- Alcohol is an instant sedative and relaxes stress and anxiety
- Opiates help stabilize moods and sooth aggression
- Amphetamine is an energy boosts and can enhance performance
- Cocaine temporarily relieves depression and low self-esteem
Environmental conditions play a major role in rewiring the brain. Researchers have shown that positive and stimulating environmental conditions make it easier to treat addiction. Thailand is the ideal place to heal and recover due to its famously friendly culture and tropical climate with occasional refreshing showers in rainy season to cool off in.
“Coming to Thailand increases motivation and helps inspire people through their struggles, being away from familiar surroundings makes for a safe place, especially if you experience triggers cravings”