Name: Omar Munoz
From: SALT LAKE CITY, UT
The Need for Dopamine
Addiction is a serious crisis our nation is addressing everyday. Addictions have consequences for the individuals and society as a whole. The nation can remedy the addiction crisis but it will take great healing on the part of the individual as well as society. Living with addiction, whether it is one’s own addiction or that of a loved one, is a serious issue that causes great harm to relationships and living a life of freedom.
Addiction is the result of trying to fill a hole in our lives caused by something missing. This can be hurts that need to be healed, boredoms that need to be replaced or maybe a need to be accepted by our peers and falling into peer pressure. Our society is not filling in these gaps in a healthy manner, causing people to seek out things that will bring a false sense of happiness.
Consequences of addiction are wide spread as well as varied, but there are some similarities amongst all addiction. Addiction turns the person inward, ignoring healthy relationships and activities. Selfishness replaces family and community.
Services are provided to help individuals to heal and get rid of their addictions. Many of these programs include counseling and belief in a higher power. Much soul searching and journaling is another tool used by addicts to help them break the cycle of addition. There is no quick fix, but filling time with volunteering and services, as well as other healthy habits start to fill in these holes. Confronting the demons in life can be overwhelming, but is vital to abstaining from addictions. Creating a society where children are raised with support groups who help them learn how to deal with trials in a healthy manner is a huge step toward healing the nation from the addiction crisis.
Growing up in a family where a parent lived with an addition has led me to research the reasons behind addiction as a whole. The body naturally has chemicals in it to help people learn things and do them over and over again. The chemical dopamine makes the brain feel happy, thus causing the brain to want to do it again, so as to feel that rush of dopamine again. Teaching one’s self to wait for a natural dopamine fix can help addiction. If one regulates the dopamine coming to the brain, addiction can be averted. I have learned the importance of overcoming these needs and impulses that overtake the brain.
As an ecclesiastical leader, I have helped many of my congregation in dealing with their addictions. One of the main things we discuss is what the addiction replacing in their life. Another thing discussed is the need of a higher power, along with service to others. As we serve others, we get a rush of dopamine and this can help stave off the need for addiction.
Addiction comes in all forms and is a false sense of happiness. Addiction hurts the individuals as well as their families and society as a whole. People have so much to give, it is sad when they hide away behind additions and focus on themselves and their next dopamine rush. Finding a way to dig out of the addiction hole is difficult but worth it in the long run.