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HOW DRUG ADDICTS ARE MADE

Inadequate parents create inadequate children.

BOOK REVIEW: In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, Close Encounters with Addiction, by Gabor Mate, M.D. If parents are emotionally unavailable, endorphins won’t be released, and the child will be left to his own inadequate coping mechanisms. For example, rocking or thumb-sucking as ways of self-soothing or tuning out to escape emotional distress. Children who have not received the attentive presence of the parent are at greater risk for seeking chemical satisfaction from external opiate sources later in life.

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How will your child receive her endorphins?

When endorphins lock onto opiate receptors, they trigger the chemistry of love and connection, helping us to be the social creatures we are. The opioid attachment/reward system plays a key role in all substance addictions and also in behavioral addictions. How will your child receive her endorphins? Will they be produced naturally by her brain as a direct result of parental love and attunement? Or will she be forced to seek the plant-based opioid of heroin or a synthetic opioid of meth or fentanyl? Her need for endorphins is as insatiable as is her need for the dopamine she gets from cocaine. Drug addicts are created by improper mothering that has inhibited a child’s natural dopamine development. If a child’s brain cannot internally manufacture dopamine then that kid will go looking for dope on the street.

All abuseable substances raise dopamine in the brain

The life-foundational opioid love/pleasure/pain relief apparatus provides the entry point for narcotic substances into our brains. The less effective our own internal chemical happiness system is, the more driven we are to seek joy or relief through drug-taking or through other compulsions we perceive as rewarding. All abuseable substances raise dopamine in the brain. Stimulants like cocaine most dramatically.

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Will you she score her dopamine naturally or pharmaceutically?

Where will the clean and sober recovering drug addict receive his endorphin rush? The best way is internally through meditation and contemplation. Being in nature is also a very effective serotonin holiday. Attending 12 Step meetings has also been known to provide a nice dopamine fix.

Addiction is one of the chief dysfunctions of a damaged emotional life

When our emotional brain is properly developed it is an unerring and reliable guide to life. A healthy brain and limbic system facilitates self-protection and makes love and compassion possible. Addiction is one of the chief dysfunctions of a damaged emotional life.

Photo credit: Maria Lysenko/Unsplash