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Done estimated finish: 1hr 35min left Overview of Substance Use Disorders / Introduction Introduction Substance abuse is a complex disease process, which includes involuntary cravings and consumption, despite known consequences. Approximately 50% of those individuals with a substance abuse disorder also have a mental health diagnosis. It is important for the nurse and interdisciplinary health care team to work together to develop an effective plan of care for these patients. Upon completion of this lesson, the learner will be able to: Describe the etiology, pathophysiology, and clinical manifestations of substance use disorders. Previous Next Done estimated finish: 1hr 33min left Overview of Substance Use Disorders / Etiology and Pathophysiology of Substance Use Disorders Neurobiological Factors Neurotransmitters are elements in the brain that assist in the transferring of information from the nerve cells to relay chemical messages, which allow and support the human body’s critical functions. Drug addiction alters the neurochemical environment in the brain. Drugs have a direct impact on the neurotransmitters present in the brain. Opioid drugs have a direct impact on opioid receptors to increase the release of dopamine.
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Alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants affect GABA receptors. o The effect of CNS depressants can help to explain the cross-tolerance effects when they are consumed with benzodiazepines. Cocaine and amphetamines affect the dopamine and serotonin systems, which leads to compulsive use. o When these drugs are ingested, they flood the brain’s reward system, causing excess dopamine to be secreted. o These substances produce an intense high, followed by an equally intense low, which leads to ingestion to regain the high. Drugs of addiction all have an effect on the reward center. The role that dopamine plays is essential; it assists in the regulation of impulse, learning, and mood and in the experiences of pain and pleasure. When dopamine gets released in excessive amounts, the neurons in the brain attempt to regulate it and the reward center (limbic system) becomes less affected by dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Tolerance can develop due to a person no longer responding in the same way they initially responded to the drug, meaning that over time a larger amount of the drug is needed to achieve the same effect. Previous Next Done estimated finish: 1hr 31min left Overview of Substance Use Disorders / Etiology and Pathophysiology of Substance Use Disorders Individual Factors There are several factors that play a role in an individual’s likelihood of using drugs. Typical demographics, such as gender, age, and ethnicity, as well as economic factors, such as availability, past use, income, and beliefs about drugs, play a part in the individual factors that may lead to a substance use disorder (SUD).
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Other individual factors that predispose a person to drug abuse are described here.
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  • Spring '17
  • Mary Radeke

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Christopher Reinemann
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