Opioid Addiction Case Study

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Addiction is a multifactorial psychiatric disorder in which twin studies have established a compelling case for a genetic heritability of increased susceptibility in some human hosts more than others . Outside of genetics, addiction is partial to several environmental, behavioral, and developmental risk factors as “neither genetic nor environmental factors act in isolation to increase susceptibility to addiction.” Thus, there does not appear to be any necessary nor sufficient factors that are responsible for the increased likelihood of substance use/abuse and subsequent addiction.
Individual level risk factors for addiction may include low school involvement, existing mental disorders, history of abuse or neglect, and use during adolescence
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These receptors, located throughout the brain, spinal cord, and digestive tract, are typically responsive to endogenous opioid peptides (EOPs) including endorphins, enkephalins, and dynorphins released by neurons in their attempt to suppress pain12. When exogenous opioid drugs such as heroin and morphine are introduced, the opioid receptors, MOR in particular, are especially susceptible to their actions including a massive release of dopamine. When the receptors are repeatedly exposed to exogenous substances, a tolerance quickly builds as the MOR desensitizes and decreases its response to opioid agonists . Such desensitization is a critical component in the establishment of opioid addiction and the necessity of larger agonist…show more content…
The three stages of addiction are binge/intoxication defined by consumption and reward, withdraw/negative affect due to absence of the substance, and preoccupation/anticipation relating to the stage of seeking11. As such, the brain regions associated with each stage are the basal ganglia, extended amygdala, and prefrontal cortex correspondingly. The stages of addiction are cyclical, one leading to the next. The physical and psychological damage is magnified as the cycle is reinforced and strengthened with time
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