5:30 pm, 1st Monday of every month, and 7:30 am every 3rd Monday at:
First United Methodist Church in Albuquerque Call 797-6003 for details
5:30 p.m., 2nd Monday of every month at: UNM School of Law, 1117 Stanford NE, Room 1119
You don’t have to manage alone. Help and Support are only a phone call away.
Addiction – A Brain Disease that Affects Millions
In 1956, the American Medical Association determined that alcoholism was a disease based on its characteristics described below:
The American Society of Addiction Medicine has since been expanded the definition to include all chemical addictions and reflect the most current research:
How Does the Brain Become Diseased?
A person takes a drug of abuse (ex. alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine), activating the brain circuits essential to survival such as: eating, bonding, and sex. This releases the brain’s endogenous opioids, which activate its pleasure centers and cause a rise in Dopamine, a reward neurotransmitter. The brain remembers this pleasure and wants to repeat it.
As dopamine surges, so do the neurotransmitters: Glutamate (main excitatory) and GABA (main inhibitory). GABA overpowers the Glutamate, causing an imbalance the brain struggles to overcome by releasing more receptors for Glutamate. This corrects the imbalance, but makes more alcohol necessary to reach the same level of intoxication.
Dysregulation results in dysphoria, cravings, more drug seeking behaviors and other attempts to soothe the disturbed limbic system. Eventually the need to obtain and take drugs becomes more important than any other needs, including food and sex.
Abstinence improves brain function, but the brain remains chemically changed and susceptible to anything that triggers the limbic system. This effect can last from days to months.
Illustrations provided by Dr. Kenneth Thompson, Medical Director of Caron Treatment Center
• Ill with vague complaints
• Frequent absences (especially Mondays)
• Improbable excuses for absences
• Frequent restroom breaks
• Client complaints
• Problems with supervisors
• Avoiding others
• Angry outbursts
• Overreaction to criticism
• Missed deadlines
• Decreased efficiency
• Lack of attention
• Difficulty concentrating
Issues Unique to the Legal Profession:
• Missing checks to be deposited
• Unexplained debit card withdrawals
• “Borrowing” from trust
• Incomplete accounting for receipts and disbursements
• Failure to renew law license
• Noncompliance with CLE
• Failure to file and pay taxes
Is Someone You Love a High-Functioning Alcoholic? Are you concerned someone you love might have a drinking problem even though they manage to show up at work every day and maintain close relationships?
Former TV Anchor Laurie Dhue Shares Her Stuggle With Alcoholism (article and video)
Attend online 12- Step meetings and book clubs; read blogs, write in your journal, and chat with over 20,000 members of this worldwide recovery community. (This is intended as an adjunct and not a replacement for in-person participation in 12-step groups).