PIVOT: What is Addiction?



Alcohol or drug addiction happens when a person develops a habit of using a specific substance. It becomes severe or a severe substance-use disorder, when that habit negatively impacts day-to-day living. Things like relationships, school, work. And one way to think about it is, when a person has a happy and healthy life, everything is balanced out, all of the pieces of their life. With addiction or substance-use disorder, the drug use becomes the center of their life and everything else is secondary and suffers as a result.

Addiction actually rewires our brain. It changes the way that our cells communicate with each other and how they process information. That rewiring causes us to make different types of decisions, often not good decisions.

Parts of our brains make up what we call “the reward system.” We get rewarded with good feelings when we do something we like, such as eating cookies or hanging out with friends. When we experience something enjoyable, our brain releases a reward, a chemical called “Dopamine.” Dopamine creates that positive feeling. When we do that with drugs, however, our bodies or our brains produce a much larger amount of dopamine and overwhelms our systems. Our brains then squash down the amount of dopamine that they're providing. So, it is always trying to keep it at a normal level. And, eventually, our bodies stop creating dopamine in the appropriate levels. And that's what causes a person to use more drugs, because they're always trying to get back to that positive feeling.

Drug and alcohol addiction doesn't discriminate. It can be a professional, it can be somebody who's homeless. It can be somebody with mental illness, somebody without mental illness. It can impact anyone.

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Title: PIVOT: What is Addiction?

Format: Video

Clean of Graphics: No

Type: Segment

Subject(s): Overdose Epidemic

Public Broadcasting Station or Institution: WPBS-TV

Original Broadcast/Publish Date: 03/01/2022

Runtime: 00:06:20

Main Asset File Size: 0 GB

Rights Information:

  • Media Rights: Specific manner/media
  • Specific Manner and Media specified: Public Television
  • Territory (*Please note: all internet exploitation of this program must be geo-limited to the specified territory): Worldwide
  • Term: 2 years
  • Releases: Unlimited
  • Editing Allowed?: Yes
  • Digital Classroom Rights: Yes
  • Promotional Use: Yes

Sensitive Material: N/A

Special Instructions: The end slate is blank for stations to add their own list of addiction treatment centers. Contact me if you would like to use this segment as part of another program. Can be used as interstitial/filler material on PBS stations.

Language: English


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