The legalization of marijuana in several states and the growing acceptance of this drug in the medical community correspond with a rise in use and abuse of this substance. Marijuana, or cannabis, is a plant-based substance that can be smoked, vaporized, or ingested in foods and liquids that contain the drug. When smoked or consumed, marijuana binds with receptor cells in the brain that respond to substances called cannabinoids. Many of these receptor cells are located in the same parts of the brain that control judgment, reasoning, motor coordination, and spatial perception.
^ Nestler EJ (August 2016). "Reflections on: "A general role for adaptations in G-Proteins and the cyclic AMP system in mediating the chronic actions of morphine and cocaine on neuronal function"". Brain Research. 1645: 71–4. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2015.12.039. PMC 4927417. PMID 26740398. These findings led us to hypothesize that a concerted upregulation of the cAMP pathway is a general mechanism of opiate tolerance and dependence. ... We thus extended our hypothesis to suggest that, particularly within brain reward regions such as NAc, cAMP pathway upregulation represents a common mechanism of reward tolerance and dependence shared by several classes of drugs of abuse. Research since that time, by many laboratories, has provided substantial support for these hypotheses. Specifically, opiates in several CNS regions including NAc, and cocaine more selectively in NAc induce expression of certain adenylyl cyclase isoforms and PKA subunits via the transcription factor, CREB, and these transcriptional adaptations serve a homeostatic function to oppose drug action. In certain brain regions, such as locus coeruleus, these adaptations mediate aspects of physical opiate dependence and withdrawal, whereas in NAc they mediate reward tolerance and dependence that drives increased drug self-administration.
This kind of treatment is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), because it introduces the patient to new and healthier ways of thinking (“cognitive”) and acting (“behavioral”). The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that the success of alcohol treatment depends on “changing a person’s behaviors and expectations about alcohol.” Mom Left Job and Fell Into Alcoholism
Historically, drug addiction and those suffering with it were maligned as morally weak people who made bad choices. This pure behavioral model, however, fails to account for the biological changes that addiction triggers in the body and brain. Furthermore, it overlooks the issue of comorbidity; many people who are addicted to drugs also suffer from mental health problems and use drugs to self-medicate for those problems.
As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.
GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is a CNS depressant. It was approved by the FDA in 2002 for the singular use of treating narcolepsy. Though it initially causes feelings of relaxation and euphoria, high doses of GHB can induce sleep, coma or death. Repeated use leads to GHB addiction and, ultimately, withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, tremors and sweating.5
Substance abuse therapy: Used as a part of many inpatient and outpatient programs, therapy is one of the cornerstones of drug addiction treatment. Individual, group and family therapy help patients and their loved ones understand the nature and causes of addiction. Therapy teaches coping strategies and life skills needed to live a productive, sober life in the community. For individuals with a co-occurring mental illness, intensive psychotherapy can also address psychiatric symptoms and find the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Inside Shalom House, Australia’s ‘strictest’ drug rehabilitation | Australian Story