The Life Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction `Depression` - The Second Barrier to Successful Recovery

Released on: February 29, 2008, 12:08 pm

Press Release Author: Narconon Arrowhead

Industry: Healthcare

Press Release Summary: Depression is another factor that keeps an addict harnessed
in his addiction. Depression is the source of a constant and significant amount of
discomfort that prompts continued use. It is also the second major barrier to
successful recovery for those seeking help through treatment.

Press Release Body: Depression is another factor that keeps an addict harnessed in
his addiction. Depression is the source of a constant and significant amount of
discomfort that prompts continued use. It is also the second major barrier to
successful recovery for those seeking help through treatment.

Some of the traditional medical- and psychiatric-based programs rotely diagnose and
treat the depression an addict is experiencing as the root cause of the person's
drug or alcohol problem. In actual fact, more times than not, it is a symptom of the
problem that manifested itself after the person had become addicted, not before.
Oftentimes, in the course of treatment, psychotropic medications are used which
temporarily mask the symptom but does nothing to cure it. As these medications wear
off, the depression returns, oftentimes magnified. This makes the recovery process
much more difficult, if not nearly impossible, for the addict in treatment.

There are physical and mental mechanics at play that create the state of depression
and lethargy an addicted person experiences. At a physical level, most addicts are
in a declining or poor state of health. When they are high they are in a euphoric,
painless state of mind and are numb to the damage drugs and/or alcohol are causing
to their body. When they are sober they have no energy and minor aches and pains are
intensified. They are physically spent as a result of the severe nutritional
deficiencies that follow long-term drug or alcohol abuse. It is these deficiencies
that accelerate poor health and put the person in a physically lethargic condition.

At a mental level, they have a difficult time finding joy or happiness in anything
while they are not under the influence. An addict at some point surrenders to the
idea that they must be high in order to experience anything at an emotional level.
They must be high to celebrate an accomplishment, to escape sadness. They must be
high to solve problems, to enjoy sex, to have meaningful relationships, to work or
to play. The addict really believes and operates on this principle, numb to the
actual fact that the quality of their life and relationships with others are on a
downtrending spiral.

To give a layman's explanation of how and why this barrier of depression exists,
let's look at what is happening to a person's mind and body as the addiction
develops. There is another biophysical aspect to this scenario which is created by
the drug\'s interaction with the body\'s natural chemistry. Some of the body\'s natural
chemicals act as a built-in reward system that encourages us to eat, exercise and
procreate. Other natural chemicals act as painkillers that activate when we
physically injure ourselves or are experiencing pain. These natural chemicals are
directly related to our drive to maintain our physical well-being in one way or

In addition to the presence of drug metabolites in the system and the memories
associated with drug and alcohol use as described in Part II of this editorial
series, the physical brain of the addicted person also identifies the drug or
alcohol as an aid that either enhances or restricts the release of these natural
chemicals. In some cases the brain identifies some drugs as superior to the body's
natural chemicals. The brain then substitutes the drugs or alcohol for the body's
natural chemicals. As the person starts to use drugs or alcohol on a regular basis,
the body becomes depleted of key nutrients and amino acids. (Amino acids are the
building blocks for the body's natural chemicals.) These nutritional deficiencies
prevent the body from receiving the nutritional energy necessary to produce and
release the natural chemicals.

In short, the drugs take over the functions of the body's natural chemicals and the
person's brain and body get fooled into thinking that the drugs or alcohol are the
natural chemicals. When drugs or alcohol are present in the addict's system, the
physical perception is that the body chemistry is working and all is well. When the
drugs or alcohol leave the addict's system, the brain and body perceive a deficit of
the natural body chemicals which adds to the lethargy and lack of enjoyment an
addict experiences when not under the influence of drugs or drink. This condition is
what adds to the addict's compulsion and drive to do more drugs or drink more
alcohol, despite the often life-threatening consequences an addict is faced with on
a day-to-day basis. The drug or alcohol gets misidentified as an aid to the
production and release of the natural chemicals when, in fact, it is suppressing the
body\'s ability to manufacture them.

One final piece of the depression puzzle is what is actually happening in the
addicts' lives. There are broken relationships, sometimes problems with the law or
financial problems. Addicts start to distance themselves from the people they love
and becomes more and more withdrawn. They may lose their jobs or start experiencing
serious health problems. Basically their lives are going down the toilet and the
addicts deep down are not happy about it. They are depressed about these
circumstances that for the most part are present because of their addictive
lifestyles. Depression is an appropriate emotion considering the misery that they
are faced with in their lives.

For some medical practitioners in the treatment field to address this depression as
a "mental illness or disease" and expect that prescribed medications will somehow
fix the person so they can fix these situations in their life seems somewhat
irrational if you think about it. It is a fact that these prescribed medications
will mask the depression temporarily, but so will their drug of choice. Neither one
helps the person restore their physical health or helps them develop the life skills
to repair these real life problems, which is the only real cure for this affliction.

For more information about addiction or if you would like a free copy of The Life
Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction five-part series, call 1-800-468-6933 or email
Megan Bedford at

Coming Next: The Life Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction Part IV: "Guilt" The Third
Barrier to Successful Recovery

Web Site:

Contact Details: HC 67 Box 5
canadian, OK 74425

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