What is the science of addiction and why is that important?

Addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder, is recognized by experts as an illness.

Many years of scientific research have been able to shine a light providing more information on
how drugs and alcohol affect the brain. The advancement of neuroscience, sociobiology and
psychology has given us new insights into how addiction continues to drive the destructive
behaviors despite the negative consequences and how treatments can address these issues.

Through my own formal education to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor, I began to
better understand how/why my children, and others suffering in their substance abuse, seemed
to have no control over choices. Hence the “Hijacked Brain”.

Understanding that the disease affects the parts of the brain that makes decisions has helped
us to recognize that substance use disorder is not a moral failing and that people suffering from
addiction are not bad people.

Addiction is not discerning. It does not know or see color, gender, age, or socioeconomic status.
It affects not only those using drugs and alcohol, but the loved one’s surrounding them. It robs
us all of dignity, respect, joy, and love. It is a family disease.

The cost of substance abuse disorder is enormous, physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally,
and financially both personally and as a society.

It is said that addiction is progressive, it is not curable, but it is treatable.

I am not a scientist or a doctor, I am a mom. A warrior Mama.
One that has lived, firsthand, in the depths of sheer terror, anxiety, grief, anger, confusion,
despair and sadness as my kids’ addiction wreaked havoc on our family.

I am not going to go into the details of the science, and I defer to the experts to explain it. If you
are interested in learning more about this topic here is one site that may be helpful. There are
many resources but this one is basic enough for me to relate to.

Lastly, one of the greatest reasons it has been important for me to be educated on this subject
is that it helps to dispel the stigma therefore making room for compassion and empathy for all.
And that’s for another blog!
As always, I welcome your perspectives so please feel free to comment and share.

With compassion and empathy,