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  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 1

    Light University Online

    Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles

    ARCO 501

    Module 3

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 2

    Light University Online

    Module Three

    Table of Contents

    The Neurobiology of Addiction Mark Laaser, Ph.D. & Todd Clements, M.D. ......................................................................................................... 3

    Substance Abuse in Marriage: Getting Past the Chaos David Stoop, Ph.D. & Jan Stoop, Ph.D. .................................................................................................................. 8


  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 3

    Light University Online

    Description Dr. Laaser and Dr. Clements teach students the importance of understanding how the brain works regarding the problem of addiction. In this lesson, they discuss SPECT imaging, the chemical side of addiction, and how various medications can help. Students will gain a message of hope to those struggling with addiction, as well as helpers who are working with addicts.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand the benefits of brain scans and their function in treating addicts.

    2. Understand the neurochemical addictive effect that occurs in the brain.

    3. Understand the elasticity of the brain and how one can recover from




    Mark Laaser, Ph.D. & Todd Clements, M.D.

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 4

    Light University Online

    I. Brain Scan Imaging

    A. SPECT scan – Single Photo Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scans are functional brain scans.

    B. CT or MRI studies the anatomy of the brain.

    C. Most psychological problems are not a problem with a brain’s structure, but with the function.

    D. Imaging can tell what areas of the brain are working well, which ones are not working hard enough, and which ones are working too hard.

    E. How can scans help when it comes to addiction?  They can show if there has been any damage done because of an addiction.

     They can show if there is something underlying that is driving the addiction.

    II. Neurochemical Effects

    A. There is indeed a chemical side to addiction – if a person ingests a substance, there can be a definite effect on the brain.

    B. It becomes addiction when the brain becomes neuro-chemically tolerant.

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 5

    Light University Online

    C. With addiction, as long as the substance/behavior is available, a person is fine. But if not, everything else stops.

    D. In order for something to have the same neurochemical addictive effect on the brain, the behavior itself has to create chemistry.

    E. Young men who watch pornography have the same part of the brain light up as when doing cocaine, almost in the same intensity.

    F. There is a dopamine release that occurs as easily when watching pornography as when someone uses cocaine.

    G. The brain stores images of pornography or sexual activity, brings it up, and the memory itself can produce the pleasure or effect.

    H. The trigger is very powerful, in behaviors and substances. III. Addiction

    A. Some addictions are paired with the use of drugs.

    B. When it comes to behavioral addictions, people have to learn to do certain behaviors for healthy purposes.

    C. The Question of Susceptibility

     Moral Model – a person chose to be an alcoholic, likes being an alcoholic, is too weak to stop, and is immoral

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 6

    Light University Online

     Medical Model – a person can do nothing about being an alcoholic except manage it, because it is a genetic disease

     There could be genetic vulnerabilities, but people are still all responsible for

    the decisions they make. D. Medication

     If someone is in the midst of addiction, medication can be very effective

    through withdrawal

     Medications can block the good effect from the addiction, and the bad effect from the withdrawal

    E. It takes hard work to retrain the brain, but recovery can help override the brain’s autonomic response at the pleasure center of the brain.

    F. The brain is elastic, and there is a great message of hope that anyone can overcome any addiction.

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 7

    Light University Online

    Study Questions

    1. Discuss the role of brain scans and how they can help those recovering from addiction.

    2. What is the role of dopamine in addiction?

    3. What is the importance of keeping the brain healthy? What are the effects of keeping the brain healthy versus neglecting a healthy brain lifestyle?

    4. Discuss the Moral Model versus the Medical Model.

    5. Discuss the implications of the brain’s elasticity and ability to change.

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 8

    Light University Online

    Course Description Drug wars go on in individual households, as well as in cities and across borders. If affairs are the rifle shot through the heart of marriage, drug abuse may well be the shotgun blast that renders chaos throughout all of marital life. A major personal, social, and international problem, substance abuse also devastates marriages. Drs. David and Jan Stoop reveal this major problem, how to confront and overcome it, and how to heal a war-torn marriage.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand the widespread effect of alcoholism on society, families, marriages, and individuals.

    2. Be able to discuss the myths about alcoholism and understand how

    alcohol and other drugs affect individuals physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

    3. Explain how addictions create dysfunctional families, and learn steps to helping couples and families face and overcome addictions and codependent behaviors.




    David Stoop, Ph.D. & Jan Stoop, Ph.D.

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 9

    Light University Online


    This lesson will look at substance abuse, particularly alcoholism, and its effects on marital

    and family relationships. Students will examine the widespread effects of alcohol abuse in

    society and analyze the church's views, as well as look at commonly held myths about

    alcoholism. The Stoops will share their personal testimony of facing substance abuse in

    their own family and share steps to helping couples and families facing addiction. Many still

    believe the myth that substance abuse doesn’t affect Christian families, but statistics tell a

    different story. Many Christians and Christian homes are devastated by substance abuse.

    In order to help individuals, couples, or families facing addiction, counselors must

    understand the addictive process and the dysfunctional dynamics that accompany it.

    I. Substance Abuse in Christian Marriage

    A. 1 out of 10 People in General Population is Alcoholic (Does Not Include Other Drugs)

    B. 1 out of 3 People is Closely Related to an Alcoholic or is Touched by Alcoholism

    in a Close Intimate Way

    II. Statistics on Alcoholism A. 60% of Reported Child Abuse Cases Involve Alcohol B. Alcohol is Involved in Almost Every Case of Spousal Abuse

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 10

    Light University Online

    A. Crime – Alcohol is Involved In:  41% of assaults

     39% of rapes

     2/3 of homicides

     2/3 of traffic fatalities

     25% of pedestrian fatalities

     80% of suicides

    III. Church Perspective on Alcoholism A. Addiction is simply a “sin” problem. B. Scientific perspective – Alcoholism is a disease.

    IV. Myths about Alcoholism

    A. Myth #1 -Everyone Reacts the Same to Alcohol

     Rate of alcoholism among Native Americans is about 80-90%

     Rate of alcoholism among Jewish and Italian populations is much lower – about 1-2%

    B. Myth #2 -Alcohol is an Addictive Drug and Any Person who Drinks Enough will become Alcoholic

     Alcohol is a “selectively” addictive drug.

  • Addiction and Recovery: Foundational Principles 11

    Light University Online

     People most prone to alcoholism have a high tolerance for alcohol.

     The alcoholic will function better when drinking. Symptoms start when they stop drinking.

    C. Myth #3 – The Alcoholic’s “True Self” Will Come Out When He/She Is Using

     Alcohol masks the true self.

     One cannot help a person while they are using drugs or alcohol

    D. Myth #4 – An Alcoholic Can Learn to Drink Respon


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