Information Center

We hope you will come to rely on New Directions and Perspectives II as a trusted resource to understanding the problems associated with drug addiction and alcoholism. Having a better understanding of an addiction problem is a key to Recovery.

 

 Body

The impacts of drugs and alcohol addiction on the human body are significant and can be life threatening. Alcohol and drug abuse increases the risk of early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also increases the risk of cancer in the liver, pancreas, breast, rectum and pharynx. Half of all cancers in the throat, mouth and esophagus are linked to alcohol. The heavy use of alcohol increases the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure and is directly linked to gastritis, ulcers, liver cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis. Both alcohol and drug abuse often lead to reproductive problems including infertility and impotence.

The latter stages of alcoholism is like walking around with a ticking time bomb on the inside while the time on the clock is getting shorter and shorter every day, hour and minute.

And of course with drug abuse, almost every time you use, the risk of overdose and death is real.

 

Mind

 The brain regulates your basic body functions. It enables you to interpret and respond to everything you experience. It shapes your thoughts, emotions and behavior. Most abused drugs directly target the brains reward system by flooding its circuits with a neurotransmitter called Dopamine. It affects the region of the brain that regulates movement, cognition, emotion, motivation and feelings of pleasure. Our brains are wired to ensure we repeat life-sustaining activities by associating those activities with pleasure or reward. Whenever these reward circuits are activated, the brain knows that something important is happening that needs to be repeated again and again. Because drug abuse stimulates the same circuit we learn to abuse drugs the same way.