Biological Risk Factors in Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
It is the way the brain responds to alcohol and drug use that determines the Biological Risk Factors. In High Risk Patients the brain responds differently as compared to the brain of Low Risk Patients. High Risk Reactions of the brain make the person feel good and not using it makes them feel bad. Mainly, there are five biological risk factors that make a person feel good when he or she consumes alcohol or takes drugs. They are:- 1. Euphoric Recall 2. Positive Personality Change 3. High Tolerance 4. Hangover Resistance 5. Brain Damage Sensitivity Now, let us look at each one of them in a bit of detail.
Biological Risk Factor # 1: Euphoric Response: The first Biological Risk Factor involves the euphoric brain response to the use of alcohol and drugs. If alcohol and drugs make you feel “really good” then you are really at risk for developing alcoholism and addiction. When high risk people use any mood altering substance they have an addictive brain response. In other words, alcohol or drugs cause their brains to be flooded by pleasure chemicals and to be deprived of warning chemicals. The flooding of the brain by pleasure chemicals makes the person feel good by creating an intense feeling of euphoria. Normally, the brain also makes warning chemicals whenever we are in a dangerous situation. The job of these warning chemicals is to make us feel uncomfortable so that we can assess what is the danger. When the brain stops making these chemicals we are not concerned about any dangerous situation. As a result good judgement goes out of the window and we can start doing dangerous things without even realizing it.
Biological Risk Factor # 2: Positive Personality Change: The second Biological Risk Factor is Positive Personality Change when using alcohol or other drugs. The euphoric effects of alcohol and drugs intensify positive personality traits and tone down negative personality traits. This means that it is possible to improve our personalities by using mood altering substances. As a result of this, the Addictive Brain Response can turn mood altering substances into a means for changing the mood and personality of the person. The only problem with this is that the change is only temporary. The positive personality change will last only till the effect of alcohol or drug lasts. When you stop using alcohol or drugs the negative personality traits will tend to come back which causes the person to use more and more of the substance to correct the problem.
Biological Risk Factor # 3: High Tolerance: The third Biological Risk Factor is High Tolerance. High Tolerance means the ability to use the mood altering substance in large quantities without becoming overly intoxicated or dysfunctional. Intoxication is a protective factor against addiction. If a small amount of the mood altering substance will make the person intoxicated or dysfunctional, he or she will stop consuming it before they can become addicted. People with High Tolerance can use large amounts of the mood altering substances to get physically dependent while still remaining functional. As a result of High Tolerance they end up using larger quantities which ultimately harms their bodies and brains more than people with low tolerance.
Biological Risk Factor # 4: Hangover Resistance: The fourth Biological Risk Factor is Hangover Resistance. Hangover Resistance is the ability to consume large quantities of alcohol or other drugs without feeling bad or sick the next morning. They feel fine the next day and do not experience any harmful effects of the substance. Some may feel even better the next day after a night of heavy drinking or drugging. The combination of all the above risk factors makes it appear to the High Risk person that they can use alcohol and drugs without any adverse consequences. They, thus, erroneously conclude that drinking and drugging is safe and may even be good for them. They think they are immune to the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs. Therefore they are likely to use more and therefore get addicted.
Biological Risk Factor # 5: Brain Damage Sensitivity: Brain Damage Sensitivity: The fifth Biological Risk Factor is Brain Damage Sensitivity. The brain of High Risk People is more vulnerable to disruption of biochemical processes due to alcohol and drug intake. This leads to progressive brain dysfunction. High Risk People tend to experience more brain dysfunction as compared to Low Risk People when consuming the same amount of substance, at similar frequency and for similar period of time. The brain of High Risk Person will show more neuropshychological impairment for longer duration after a bout of drinking or drugging. These symptoms of brain dysfunction cause problems when a person stops using his or her substance of choice. They cannot think clearly and get easily confused. They experience mood swings and become emotionally labile. Because of all these things they cannot control their behavior. When they start using the mood altering substance again, the symptoms of brain dysfunction temporarily disappear leading them to erroneously conclude that alcohol and drugs are good for them.
All this is explained in detail to the patients at SAHYOG Detox and De addiction Clinic and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.