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The pleasant sensation of sipping a drink after a hard day's work is familiar to many people, but for some, recreational use easily slips into dependence and tolerance.  Some users then progress to addiction.  Even In the face of harmful
consequences to self and others, addicts cannot resist the urge to engage in the
addictive activity.    Moreover,  if they do stop taking drugs, even after years of abstinence, addicts may relapse into drug use under stress or when faced with otherwise benign cues that remind them of the addicting drug.

Drug use and addiction are pervasive. The 2005 World Report from The United Nations estimates that 300 million people, or 5% of the global population con-summed illicit drugs  at least once in the last twelve months.  The U.S. Depart-ment of health estimates that in 2004, 22.5 million Americans aged 12 or older (9.4% of the population) experienced substance dependence or abuse.  During   this period about 21.1 million people needed but did not get treatment for their
addiction in the United States alone.  It is shocking to see the figures, but even
more unbelievable, to read the paragrap and not be moved emotionally.  

Although drug abuse cuts across all societal strata and age groups, the young and poor are affected the most.  Addiction has very high overall health costs, once the related factors such as heart disease, cancer and accidents are considered.

The National Institute On Drug Abuse estimated the cost of drug and alcohol abuse at about $246 billion in 1992 (without considering nicotine addiction).  This figure includes health consquences from drug abuse and their effects on the health care system, criminal behavior, negligent driving, job loss and the effects of impaired productivity on these individuals and their employees.

Prohibition never worked with alcohol !!!  It is not working with drugs.  We are members of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition).  It isn't helping people with addiction to lock them up.  - - Addiction has been scientifically
proved to be a brain disorder.  We, one of the most civilized nations on the face of the Earth
have shut our ears to the truth. Every day our children are dying but it is like no one hears their crys.  People need help, not prison. They
need "Medication Assisted Treatment!"  

The progression from initial drug use to addiction is influenced by the drug; the user's personality; peer influences and environmental stressors.  These complex interactions determine why some individuals are more easily addicted than others.

Drug addiction can clearly vary with the drug.  - -  Cocaine,  marijuana,  LSD,  or amphetamine can create psychological dependence, in which the individual feels satisfaction, euphoria and is driven by a need to repeat the experience. - -  Heroin and alcohol can produce physical experience. Drugs also act on specific receptors or brain areas.  When given this complexity, can addiction be treated as a unitary disorder ?  Are there common brain targets for all addictive substances that could be exploited to provide a 'magic bullet' for addiction treatment? 

Exposure to drugs causes plasticity in neural circuits related to reward and moti-vation, supporting the idea that addiction is a biological disorder. - Plasticity (of
synapses and circuits) results from drug use and drug abuse.
 - - How do we make  sense of the multitude of observations, in so many different areas, under different circumstances? What animal models have the most validity for studying addiction and what specific changes should we examine? 

Taking drugs may begin as a voluntary choice to seek a pleasant stimulus,but for addicts, that choice is no longer volitional, - - even in the face of terrible personal consequencesThe cortical and subcortical circuits that mediate reinforcing effects of drugs, presenting a framework for how occasional behavior becomes habits and then compulsions through pavlovian and instrumental learning are now presently being reviewed.  

Antoine Bechara proposes:   The volitional decisions involve a balance between neural systems signaling the immediate and delayed consequences of actions. He discusses how drugs may tip this balance, leading to an inability to weigh future consequences and the urge to make impulsive decisions.  - -  Whether you totally understand what you have just read, I am not sure.  If you did, then you know just how crucial these findings are to the people suffering from addiction.  - - They are reviewing their research and delving in deeper to learn as much as they can.  

 Volitional means will!  The decisions made by  you involve a balance between neural systems signaling the  immediate  /delayed consequences of your actions. - - Drugs may tip the balance lead-ing to inability to weigh future consequences and the urge to make impul-sive decisions if you used them for many years.                   

We now possess the technology we lacked years back.  We are able to prove now our hypotheses.  They are no longer educated guesses but they are backed up by evidence.  It seems to me as if no one seems to care. They have been brainwashed by our United States Government for so many years - - I believe they have become immune to the truth.  What is it going to take to open their eyes?  Will it take the death of a close loved one to finally open their eyes to the lies of the government?

What makes certain individuals more vulnerable to drug use and abuse?  Mary Jeanne Kreek and her colleagues discuss the genetic influences on complex personaility traits, such as impulsitivity, risk taking and stress responsiveness, and their addiction vulnerability factors, in light of the strong comorbidity between
addiction and other mental disorders.

Nicotine is one of the most widely abused substances and tobacco addiction kills more than 430,000 each year. 

Alcohol and nicotine are legal drugs that are both prone to abuseNicotine is one of the most widely abused substances, and tobacco addiction kills more than 430, 000 Americans each year.

 Most of us are aware alcohol is a drug.  It is classified as a depressant.  -- We are predisposed to alcohol as we (40-60%) by genetics..

We need to take alcohol very seriously!  Alcohol destroys our brain cells and they will never be replaced.  I don't know about all of you but I need all of mine. There are many other problems alcohol causes but the other one I must mention is your liver. It can totally destroy your liver.  Sure if you are lucky and can find a match, you can get a liver transplant.  I worked at Emory University Hospital Pharmacy  and you may be aware of but your immune system still may reject the liver trans-plant. You are playing Russian Roulette with your life.

Yet, alcohol is a legal drug, as is cigarettes.  -  How many die from smoking each year?  If we took the total figure,  and added the deaths to the ones alcohol kills each year, I believe the figure would be more than all the deaths caused by our  illicit drugs.  What do  all of  believe?  I believe the two drugs they chose to make legal is worse than any of the illegal ones - - - how can they declare a war on the others and overlook the legal ones?   Am I the only one thinking along this line of thought?   Let's lighten up some and read the sign.  Please don't be offended  - I would never purposefully hurt you in any way. 


Despite the enormous social and economic cost of addiction, long term treatments are few and far between.  Only a handful of pharmaceutical therapies exist.   -  In a commentary Charles Dackis and Charles O'Brien discuss social issues that may be hampering development and access to treatment, pointing out that loss of control, the hallmark of addiction, is the source of its societal stigma. 

A naive public is likely to conceptualize addiction as a character flaw rather than a bona fide brain disorder.   - -  Dackis and O"Brien argue that to effectively develop treatments for addiction we must change this perception. 

References: I-han Chou - Associate Editor
                    Kalyani Narasimhan - Senior Editor
                    Nature Neuroscience


I did read the commentary written by Charles Dackis and Charles O'Brian as they discussed the social issues hampering development and treatment  pointing out with their final analysis that los of control, the hallmark of addiction, is the source of societal stigma. It is why I opened up "Medical Assisted Treatment of America" to educate you.  Addiction is a brain disorder, but  we  still  have  a  naive  public that believes, it is a character defect and unless we can change the way the public perceives addiction, we cannot effectively develop treatment and fight the disease.

This is where you come in my friend.  We need all you to spread the word around, especially if you believe in all you have read.  If you believe "Addiction is a Brain Disorder," as I have told you, and we  provided evidence for you to back up your words with truth, if you happen to get a chance to discuss it with anyone,then, I'm asking you, please share it with your friends and give them my Home URL Address listed below:

http://www.MedicalAssistedTreatment.org 

Click on "Addiction Science" and it will explain why Addiction has been classified as a Brain Disorder. It is written in simple terms and if there is any information you fail to understand, please just send us a message and we will be happy to call you and  explain  it  all  at our own expense, if you send us your name, phone  number an  the best time to reach you. -  - If you prefer we will be happy to answer any of your questions by whatever means they prefer. - -  If you are having any problems with your children and need some answers, we want you to know, we are here to help you with them, by answering questions about their behavior, drugs and assist you in any way at all. 

We are open twenty-four hours, every day of the year because we want to get the word out and to be there for you whether it is you, your significant other, or your children in trouble. We are tired of seeing teenagers dying from overdoses, tired  of  seeing  people dying in jail because they are in withdrawal and not receiving any medication and last, but not least, seeing good  families broke up and their children  becoming  wards of the state because their parents  were  sentenced  to prison. Yet, they are not guilty of no violent crime,but their sentences are harsh.   It is obvious to everyone Prohibition isn't working, after all the years it looks like they would try a different avenue.  Has anyone ever wondered why ?


The real problem with drugs in the modern world is that they are illegal. This provides an environment where the provision of drugs to  those  who want or need them involves severe risk and consequently high prices for buyers (some  of whom must resort to violent crime to pay for their habit).  - - - -A situation of enormous  potential profit has  attracted  organized crime - - -  -  (both within government —. the CIA — and without) - - - - - - and resulted in the widespread corruption of public officials.(Furthermore, the illegality of drug usage prevents the dissemination of information concerning safe ways to use drugs.)  

The "War on Drugs" exists primarily to support — financially and otherwise — the maintenance of the criminal status of the possession of (some) drugs so that those (including legislators, and many others on the government payroll, plus Pentagon contractors) who profit big — directly or indirectly — from the supply of prohibited drugs can continue to do so, at the expense of everyone else.

In order for the evil of the "War on Drugs" to triumph it is sufficient that basically decent people do nothing to oppose it. By doing nothing, they allow those who profit from the "War on Drugs" to get away with destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and destroying civil liberties of whole nations s, a crime of such enormity as has not been seen since jack-booted thugs in official positions ruled Germany.  It is only my opinion but it is all I could come up with.

Thank You for listening.   We have been brain-washed for years and told we had a character defect. No more!  We will accept no more lies when we can now back up our words  up with truth.  - -  - Please join us in the fight to get the truth out to the people? - - - - We need warriors,writers, people to spread the word, donations and member fees.

Compiled and written by: Deborah Shrira RPH,CMA                14 July 2006

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