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406 -Biopsychosocial Impact of Addiction and Mental Disorders on the Individual
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director: AllCEUs Counseling Education
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox
– Examine the biological (physical) impact of addiction and mental health issues on the individual
– Examine the psychological impact of addiction and mental health issues on the individual
– Examine the social impact of addiction and mental health issues on the individual
– Identify interventions in each area.
Biological Impact of Mood Disorders
– Caused by an imbalance of:
– Serotonin (Calming/balancing)
– GABA (Calming)
– Glutamate (Excitatory)
– Norepinepherine (Excitatory)
– Dopamine (Pleasure)

Biological Impact of Mood Disorders
– Effects
– Disrupted sleep
– Fatigue
– Irritability
– Nutritional changes
– Increased muscle tension
– Reduced pain tolerance
– Gastrointestinal disturbances

Biological Impact of Addictions
– Direct (neurotransmitter imbalances)
– Tolerance
– Withdrawal

Neurotransmitters, Addiction & Black Friday
– Normal day
– Normal store capacity is 750 people.
– The store needs a constant 500 to stay open
– The store has 8 doors to allows for people to easily enter and exit without getting “bunched”
– Black Friday
– 1500 people push through the door as soon as it opens
– Store is destroyed
– Staff is exhausted
– Takes time to restock and refresh staff
– Management closes all but two doors and adds security guards to manage flow

Biological Impact of Addictions
– Indirect
– Reduced Immunity
– More rapid aging
– Sleep difficulties
– Nutritional deficits
– Reduced pain tolerance & Increased pain
– Disease (Hepatitis, HIV, TB, MRSA)

The Brain Under Stress
Biological Impact of Alcohol
– Alcohol
– Heart damage
– High blood pressure
– Fatty liver
– Hepatitis
– Cirrhosis
– Pancreatitis
– Cancers of the mouth, throat, liver and breast
– Reduced immunity
– Brittle bones
Biological Impact
– Alcohol
– Brain damage through:
– The toxic effects of alcohol on brain cells
– The biological stress of repeated intoxication and withdrawal
– Alcohol-related cerebrovascular disease
– Head injuries from falls sustained when inebriated.
– Alcohol related birth defects (FASD)
Biological Impact
– Alcohol
– Nutrient deficiencies:
– Vitamins: A, E, D, K,B12, folic acid, thiamine
– Thiamine deficiencies, which cause severe neurological problems such as impaired movement and memory loss seen in Wernicke/Korsakoff syndrome (memory disorder often seen in Alzheimers)
– Calcium
– Iron (intestinal bleeding)
– Dehydration

Biological Impact of Caffeine
– Negative
– Stimulant/jitters
– Increased blood pressure
– Heart palpitations
– Heartburn/Diarrhea
– Disrupted sleep
– Dehydration
– Miscarriage
– Osteoporosis
– Positive (with moderate intake)
– Lower risk of Alzheimer's and dementia
– Decreased suicide risk
– Increased endurance
– Decreased risk of oral cancer
Biological Impact of Nicotine
– Nicotine (including gums and vapors)
– Highly addictive
– Activates neurotransmitters
– Pain and anxiety relief
– Reduced appetite
– Respiratory irritation
– Increased heart rate and blood pressure
– Hyperglycemia
– Decreased immune response
– Increased oxidative stress (which leads to cancer)
– Increased risk of diabetes
Biological Impact of Marijuana
– Positive
– Altered senses
– Hallucinations
– Nausea reduction
– Pain management (3 puffs a day)
– Improved sleep
Biological Impact of Marijuana
– Negative (Dependent on the amount of depends on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana)
– Neurochemical changes causing short-term problems with attention, memory, and learning
– Impacts brain development in children (permanent changes)—Even second hand smoke
– Increased risk of testicular cancer
– Increased heart rate and blood pressure
– Significant increase in the risk of heart attack in the hours after marijuana use
– Bronchitis, cough, and phlegm production
– Delusions/psychosis
Biological Impact of Opioids
– Positive
– Pain Relief
– Euphoria
– Negative
– Reduced heart rate and respiration
– Constipation
– Fatigue
– Nausea
– Highly addictive. Tolerance starts to develop in 3-5 days
– Body quits producing natural pain killers (endogenous opioids)
Biological Interventions
– Improve sleep quality
– Ensure adequate nutrition
– Assist in the development of nonpharmacological pain management (stretching, ergonomics)
– Rule out/address physical causes of depression/anxiety
– Thyroid issues
– Hormone imbalances
– Adrenal insufficiency
– Diabetes
– Heart problems

Psychological Impact of Mood Disorders
– Hopelessness
– Helplessness
– Guilt
– Anger about not being “normal”
– Anxiety that things won’t improve
– Grief over loss of prior function

Psychological Impact of Addictive Behavior
– Direct
– Euphoria/Relaxation
– Depression/ Lack of Pleasure/Anxiety
– Insufficient dopamine
– Imbalance of:
– Serotonin
– Norepinephrine
– Glutamate
Psychological Impact of Addictive Behaviors
– Indirect
– Depression and/or anxiety continued…
– Lack of sleep
– Malnutrition
– Guilt
– Being overwhelmed by the mess
– Initial “pain” still there

Psychological Interventions
– Enhance hope and empowerment
– Develop resilience skills
– Identify and address cognitive distortions
– Enhance self-esteem
– Teach distress tolerance, coping and problem solving skills
– Educate about the connection between behaviors, thoughts and feelings
– Address guilt
– Identify and address grief triggers (not “normal,” loss of function, etc.)
Social Impact of Mood & Addictive Disorders
– Isolation / withdrawal
– Loss of supportive, healthy relationships
– Pushed away
– Chose to leave
– Friends share same dysfunctional thinking
– Stinkin’ Thinkin’: Minimization, rationalization, blaming
– Cognitive Distortions

Social Interventions
– Enhance social support and reduce isolation via support groups
– Improve interpersonal effectiveness skills
– Educate about healthy relationships and boundaries
– Examine and address characteristics of current relationships that mitigate or exacerbate problems.
Total Picture
– Someone who has become physiologically less able to experience happiness or pleasure may…
– Have a desire to find that feeling (addiction)
– And keep that feeling (protect the addiction at all costs)
– Mood disorders contribute to a host of other problems including
– Pain
– Reduced immunity
– Sleep problems
– Lost work time/productivity
– Relationship issues

– Addiction and mood disorders have both direct and indirect consequences for the person
– Biologically/Physically
– Psychologically
– Socially

– All aspects of the person in recovery must be addressed.
– It is hard to change your thinking when you don’t feel well (Bio)
– It is hard to change physical habits when you are depressed and unmotivated (Psycho)
– It is hard to change thinking or health habits without social support (one of our greatest stress buffers) or energy (Social)