Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 27

How can that be?

Why?

Imagine you are walking through the desert. Hot bright sun
is beating down on you. You are thirsty and you haven't seen
another person or sign of life in days. Suddenly you see a
flash of water in the distance and as you get closer, you see
a sign near the edge of a cool blue pool that says "Warning
- Poison Water." You realize that drinking from this pool
will cause certain death. Would you drink from the pool?
Most of us would not drink the water knowing we would
die, but a person struggling with substance use is unable to
resist. The knowledge that the drink or drug can result in
severe social, physical, legal, and emotional consequences
or even death is just not there. The part of the brain that
is able to monitor risks and weigh the consequences is shut
down and not involved in the decision-making process.

There are no easy answers and the root of substance use,
like so many other chronic illnesses, has many factors
associated with it. Genetics play a role in developing an
addiction. Family history may increase risk of substance
use disorders in a person by up to 70%. Another factor is
a person's own brain wiring; that is how they react to the
world around them and how the brain responds to potent
reinforcement such as opiates or cocaine. The brain's reward
system is how most people enter the addiction cycle.

Thus, a person in active addiction is unable to prevent
themselves from using and frequently unable to stop
themselves from hurting themselves and those around them.
Active addiction wreaks havoc in an ever-growing circle
around the person and the answer lies in understanding that
the core of addiction is based on physical dependence and
psychological dependence, but most often a merger of both.

Binging on substances such as opiates, alcohol, cocaine,
and even sugar can initially give an overall feeling of wellbeing, pleasure and motivation. Substance use begins as a
willful choice with abilities to control and moderate use.
Initially, drug use involves positive reinforcement in the
form of pleasure or gratification from the substance use.
After a period of time, with increased tolerance to the
substance, negative reinforcement in the form of physical
withdrawal takes over. Once in the addiction cycle, physical
withdrawal and negative reinforcement play key roles.
Eventually the brain becomes rewired and hijacked, thus
unable to make good choices. It becomes Groundhog
Day over and over; and when does a person get help?
Continued on page 26

Call to schedule an
appointment at one of our
convenient locations:
Crozer POB II
Suite 324
Glen Mills
Brinton Lake 300
Evergreen Drive, Suite 200
Media
200 East State Street, Suite 108
Wilmington
St. Francis Hospital, Suite 600
North Wilmington
2004 Foulk Road, Unit 3

610-876-0347 or
302-656-2643
premierortho.com

www.delcomedsoc.org

DELAWARE COUNTY MEDICINE & HEALTH

25


http://www.premierortho.com http://www.delcomedsoc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017

Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 1
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 2
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 3
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 4
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 5
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 6
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 7
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 8
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 9
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 10
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 11
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 12
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 13
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 14
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 15
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 16
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 17
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 18
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 19
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 20
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 21
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 22
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 23
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 24
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 25
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 26
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 27
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 28
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 29
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 30
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 31
Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 32
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