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16 Mar 2010

Extensive drug use and the mind
Good day,

My brother has has on numerous occasions been diagnosed with addiction ranging from excessive Cocaine, Alcohol and Gambling addiction. He has been to rehab twice, and he is attending meetings and has made mental breakthroughs about his past and highlighted things that possibly drove him to the addiction in order to suppress these emotions.

More recently we have noticed on some days that he comes home and looks as though he has either been drinking or could be on something. We have occasionally tested him, and he was clear.

My question is whether it is possible that after extensive drug abuse over about 10 to 15 years that the mind at intervals generate chemicals which could mimic or affect the person looking as though he has been using?

Thanks
J
Answer 383 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Personally, I don't find the theory that things in someone's past DROVE them to become adicted, to be especially useful in therapy. Ongoing therapy is however important, as too many "rehab" programs are limited to a short period of inpatient care, with inadequate follow-up.
In answer to your specific question - no. Extensive drug and/or alcohol abuse over years can cause brain damage or other physical damage, but does not generate chemicals that mimic the effects of drug taking or alcohol abuse - if they look as though they've been using, it usually means that they have been using. Som,e blood or urine tests can be used to check for this if the person is not being frank, but obviously only with their cooperation.
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