The Complexities Of Addiction
When you are addicted to a behavior or substance, you continue to do it even though it imperils your health and life. Why? The physical part of addiction is your pursuit of the brain's feel-good chemicals, which are triggered by certain drugs and actions. The behavioral part is made up of social and habitual actions that become ingrained in your daily life. To break an addiction, and make moderate choices, you must change your habits and lifestyle as well as reject the addictive substance or action.
Candace Pert: Addiction is possibly the worst health problem facing our nation.
Neal Benowitz: If you look at the processes, the brain processes involved in developing addiction-- they are virtually the same / for nicotine, heroin, alcohol, cocaine, other stimulants-- sedative drugs, et cetera.
Deepak Chopra: You know, we're addicted to food-- or alcohol or cigarettes or other substances. But also, addictive behavior patterns.
VO: Addiction is partly genetic, as well as chemical. Feel-good neurotransimitters such as dopamine and acetylcholine are released into the brain's reward pathway when triggered by an addictive substance or behavior, making it difficult for us to "just say no."
But addiction is also made up of social and behavioral components - which means that some changes in habit can start you on the road to recovery.
Mark Liponis: We focus on so many ways to help people raise their own level of these feel good hormones, through exercise, through a change in diet, through getting better sleep, through communication, through other stress reduction techniques.
Because when someone learns that yoga or meditation or tai chi can help them to feel better that's a real plus. It empowers them to be able to do the right thing.
Likewise, with exercise, with the change in eating patterns, and these effects are powerful. It's not-- these are not just mild effects. These have huge power-- powerful effects on the physiology of the body.