17-43 Segment 1: The Biology of Addiction

 

Addiction has become undoubtedly entangled in modern American society. Whether it’s gambling, food, sex, technology, alcohol or drugs, the deadly disease hijacks the human brain with severe ramifications. Recent eruptions in the number of opiate addicts and overdoses has shined an even brighter spotlight on this critical public health issue.

There is an inclination to equate addiction to a moral failing, lack of willpower, or simply bad judgment. Dr. Rita Goldstein, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explains that due to our ‘evolutionary legacy,’ the reward center in the brain is designed to make us feel good when we do things like eat food or have sex. Yet, with prolonged addiction, a chemical imbalance occurs, and as a result, the reward center takes priority over rational thinking or the threat of negative consequence. When addictive behavior is continually reinforced, further imbalance occurs, weakening the part of the brain meant to counterbalance impulsive behavior.   

The good news; Dr. Anna Rose Childress, Research Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Pennsylvania School of Medicine, observes that with abstinence, with or without the use of medications for recovering addicts, the brain can begin rewiring pathways created in the midst of addiction. The road to recovery is not yet paved in the golden promise of a cure, but understanding the biology of addiction is a critical component of treating the disease.

Guest:

  • Dr. Rita Goldstein, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York
  • Dr. Anna Rose Childress, Research Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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17-43 Segment 2: Preparing for Disaster

 

It’s much more convenient to dismiss the idea of having to survive a natural disaster, yet the recent surge of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires in the continent of North America alone has left the unprepared scrambling to put together a survival strategy. Co-authors of The Provident Prepper: A Common Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies, as well as married couple, Jonathan and Kylene Jones, share their expertise as civil defense experts.

“Being prepared is really a force multiplier…[which] means that instead of somebody having to take care of you, you can take care of yourself and your family and reach out to those around you and make a big difference in this world,” according to Jonathan Jones. Even the most obvious things can become exceedingly complicated during a natural disaster. Everyday resources such as food, water, and electricity can suddenly become inaccessible. Water is at the top of the list, at a minimum of two-gallon of water per person per day. Natural disasters at the more severe end of the scale can mean no tap water, grocery stores being closed or destroyed, being unable to get needed medical attention and essential medications.

The number one type of disaster to prepare for according to the civil defense experts is fire. It’s extremely important to have a plan already prepared with your loved ones for evacuating the house. There should be an agreed upon meeting place and, although it may seem unnecessary, executing family fire drills will ensure everyone knows how to respond when the fire alarm interrupts your daily routine.  

Guest:

  • Jonathan Jones and Kylene Jones, co-authors, The Provident Prepper: A Common Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies

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Medical Notes 17-43

 

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