Addiction is indeed many things—a maladaptive response to environmental stressors, a developmental disorder, a disorder caused by dysregulation of brain circuits, and yes, a learned behavior. We will never be able to address addiction without being able to talk about and address the myriad factors that contribute to it—biological, psychological, behavioral, societal, economic, etc. But viewing it as a treatable medical problem from which people can and do recover is crucial for enabling a public-health–focused response that ensures access to effective treatments and lessens the stigma surrounding a condition that afflicts nearly 10 percent of Americans at some point in their lives.

Treatment cannot return the brain to “where it was before” the addiction started. Nor is this what recovery means. Because the brain is constantly changing, there is no going back to some original state, but only a restoration of balance between the circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control. Medications do not replace one addictive substance for another or, by themselves, restore balance, but they can reduce the incentive for the individual to take an illicit drug—either by moderating the cravings and withdrawal symptoms (in the case of agonists, buprenorphine and methadone) or by blocking opioids from having an effect (in the case of the antagonist, naltrexone). In this way, by supporting abstinence from more potent and euphoria-inducing opioids, they make recovery much more likely than quitting cold turkey.

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If you or a family member are addicted to Opioids (pain pills, dilaudid, or heroin); call us, The Expert Suboxone Doctor Orange Park. We are currently accepting new patients, call today! 904-999-9064

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