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The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine by Sylvia Wrobel, Michael Kuhar

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5. The Dark Side Develops!

Tim, an Iraq veteran who lost both legs in a roadside ambush where most of his buddies died, has been taking drugs for years. He’s been diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and uses several drugs, including alcohol, to help him relax and sleep. He is distressed that he has gradually needed more and more drugs to get to sleep, even for a short time. This has added to his troubles because of the increasing cost, and searching for drugs seems to dominate his activities. He is beginning to worry that he is addicted.

Drugs literally dominate the brain because the brain doesn’t have an adequate defense against drugs. But there is more to addiction than that. If a drug is taken once, it distorts the way the ...

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