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Addiction is the result of your genetics exposed to a substance that you can no longer quit. Once addiction sets in, it’s no longer a character flaw unless you choose not to seek help.
Receptor Based substance abuse treatment is the acknowledgement that neurotransmitters and receptors control your brain. Some of these chemicals are so strong that you can not overcome the effects with willpower alone.
I develop treatment plans using medications to treat your receptors that are under attack. These medications may include Suboxone for opioid addiction, Naltrexone for alcohol use disorder, vitamin/amino acids to achieve a Dopamine balance, or ketamine to achieve a faster taper off of the substance you can not control. Combinations of appropriate medicines may be frowned upon by those who think “you should just tough it out.” However, when you compare the Medication Assisted Therapy to placebo, MAT wins hands down! Applying the latest scientific discoveries from the literature I read every day, I go a mile further than most doctors to provide you the most up-to-date treatment plan to help you beat addiction!
Neurotransmitter and Receptor Imbalances in Substance Abuse
Acetylcholine – important with learning tasks
Cannabinoid – leads to sedation, feeling of well being, and hunger when stimulated. The main receptor stimulated by marijuana usage. Repeated stimulation leads to poor academic performance, reduced reaction time, and decreased abilities to sense social cues.
Dopamine – responsible for evoking pleasure, euphoria, fine motor function, and compulsion. It is also the neurotransmitter believed to be responsible for all addiction. Methamphetamine causes the highest release of this neurotransmitter. However, chronic pain medications, alcohol and other addicting substances lead to a depletion manifested by dysfunctional.
GABA – this is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the brain. Leads to muscle relaxation, sleep, amnesia, decrease anxiety and tension. Chronic drug use results in the opposite effect.
Glutamate – stimulates the NMDA and AMPA receptor. This is normally a stimulatory neurotransmitter that is suppressed by many drugs such as alcohol. However, during detox, withdrawal and early into recovery, glutamate may be over secreted leading to anxiety, seizures, and can be toxic to brain cells.
Histamine – leads to increased itching, alertness and decrease hunger.
Norpepinephrine – normally acts in the brain to affect alertness and the body’s preparation for action. Under stressful situations, it controls the fight or flight response by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood flow to the muscles. This neurotransmitter is involved in every form of addiction and typically overlooked by doctors when treating recovering addicts.
Opioids – acts on mu, kappa, and delta receptors to decrease anxiety, pain, and increase sleepiness and euphoria. When you are chronically taking opioids other pain pills, the opposite occurs leading to painful withdrawals, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Chronic ingestion leads to decrease testosterone in up to 90% of men and a whole host of vitamin deficiencies.
Serotonin – This neurotransmitter acts on the 5-HT receptors to give feelings of happiness, fullness and even modulates pain. May be diminished in depression and chronic drug abuse.