GETTING HELP WITH ANADDICTION
Addictions come in many formsand all involve dependence and/or excesses of a substance orbehaviour. The most commonaddictions are to substances—such as tobacco, alcohol orprescription drugs—or a behaviouror process—such as gambling,food, sex or work. If you need help,here are a few places to start:
The Addiction Helpline1-866-332-2322
Alberta Health Services’ toll-free, 24/7 confidential helplinefor Albertans seeking helpwith addictions. You can findinformation about alcohol, tobacco,drugs and gambling.
AHS Addiction ResourcesInformAlberta.ca
Search Addiction Services for alisting of treatments and servicesacross Alberta.
Addictions Services Guide
Go to Albertahealthservices.caand search Addiction. And go tomyhealth.alberta.ca and searchAddiction.
“We need to talk about the biological
and genetic causes of addiction and not
make it out to be someone’s destiny or
fate,” Erard says. “This would lead to
not writing off families and even whole
communities because of past histories
of addiction. We especially need to lift
the moral onus from addiction, and
recognize that the roots of addiction can
take hold as a result of early childhood
He adds this could also change how
resources are spent for preventing and
For most people living withaddictions, overcoming the problem isincredibly hard. They often face a socialstigma, and many addiction treatmentsdo not address any biological factors oraddress the root causes of addiction.
But this is changing, says Dr. Laura
Calhoun, Provincial Medical Affairs lead,
Alberta Health Services. “The treatment
field is evolving to reflect evidence.”
In order to successfully treat
addiction, the many factors at play must
be recognized and become part of
long-term treatment plans.
New research about early braindevelopment and its role in addictionoffers new optimism in understanding,preventing and eventually overcomingaddictions. |a
Just as fault lines in the earth’s core can set off
earthquakes, fault lines in the brain also have risks
architecture. This physical response isleading us to look beyond the individualto the bigger picture and to identify awhole host of possible developmentalcauses.
Not every fault line in the brain leadsto an addiction. Fault lines must betriggered to cause damage. They can alsobe prevented and minimized.
Explaining the science
“The science attempts to explain how
some people develop addictions, and
others don’t,” Frame Works researcher
and report author Michael Erard says.
“That is, two people can drink a lot, but
only one ends up with an addiction.
Why? (New) science explains that some
brains are more vulnerable than others,
and that this vulnerability has several
sources. It can be genetic in nature,
meaning that it can run in families. It
can occur through the body’s reactions
to prolonged and very negative stress.
And it can also appear at certain
Using the brain fault lines model, the
AFWI is reframing how Albertans think
about addiction. The shift is crucial to
changing public policy and making real
headway in preventing and treating