In the following video, the author of The Addiction Solution, Dr. David Kipper shares his thoughts on treating addiction as a chronic medical disease.
Dr Kipper advocates unraveling the mysteries of addiction through cutting edge brain science. The underlying problem with addiction, he says, is our brain chemistry, which is not treated. Brain chemistry is where this disease of addiction originates and there are a few basic neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, or adrenalin, that control our behaviors. Until these neurotransmitters are in balance we are never going to succeed with behavioral therapies.
From my work in emotional health I know that when your brain is filled with negative messages, one of the direct physical effects from experiencing the resulting negative emotion is a depletion of the serotonin neurotransmitter in your brain – your body begins to reabsorb serotonin during periods of emotional constipation. Emotional health shows you a way forward to control your thinking and reverse this process. If your negative state (stress) goes on for too long you may need targeted non-addictive pharmaceuticals to rebalance the chemicals in your brain to maintain and improve your life.
My husband experienced the loss of his former wife and twin daughters over 30 years ago through the disease of alcoholism and its impact on others. He sought treatment and was able to catch the illness in it’s early stages. But his losses were too great. Please watch this video to understand how addiction has often been looked at as a behavioral malady – a lack of will power. This brings judgement, guilt and lack of sympathy to your plight. This happened to Mike all those years ago! Now there is hope – treat addiction like a chronic medical disease, which it is, like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. There is hope, says Dr Kipper, that through understanding brain chemistry you can maintain and treat people over their lives.