Going To Have a Fashion Photography Session?

Fashion photography. Not a lot of people have the chance to witness, much more experience, fashion photography sessions. And now it’s your turn! Well, unless you’re a professional fashion model or you have been regularly undergoing a ton of photoshoots in the past, chances are you’re a bit concerned (worried, even) now that you are going to have your very own fashion photography session. Alas, you need not fret. There are simple and pretty easy to do tips for you to follow.

Here are some of those helpful reminders for you to remember now that you are going to have your very own fashion photography session.

1. Get to know your photographer. It pays to build some kind of rapport with your fashion photographer. You can either visit his studio or you can invite him for coffee or a quick snack before the fashion photography session. Have a casual chat with your fashion photographer. Know what he likes and what he envisions your photo shoot to be. This way, not only will you know beforehand the do’s and don’ts during your fashion photography session but you will also get to know your photographer more. You will know his work experience, his previous clients, his past photo shoots and even a bit of his personality. Who knows – that fashion photography session may just be the first of many!

2. It pays to feel relaxed. Nothing beats feeling comfortable and relaxed so that you would end up looking your best in front of the camera. So exactly how do you do this? Get a lot of sleep before the fashion photography session. Drink lots of water, drink your vitamins, play some of your favorite songs and maybe even sing a few tunes. Do things that will make you feel at ease. Some professional models even vouch that calling a very good friend and sharing a laugh or a joke before a fashion shoot can help them feel relaxed. Also, don’t forget to ask your fashion photographer for pieces of advice on how to build a relaxed, comfy atmosphere during the fashion photography session. Who knows – your fashion photographer may even want you to put your favorite songs on full blast during the shoot!

3. If you want specific shots taken or if you have a specific style of photography in mind, do share this with your fashion photographer. It’s best that he already knows what you prefer from the get-go. This will help avoid possible misunderstanding or confusion between the two of you. If you have pictures that can help shape or define your preferred look or outcome, do share these with your photographer. These pictures may be those that you came across with over the web or in magazines. Now if you aren’t sure, though, of what you like, ask your fashion photographer if he has pictures of his previous fashion photography clients that you can check. Alternatively, you may want to peruse his portfolio and see if any of his previous works strike you.

4. Arm yourself with the right pieces of clothing, shoes, accessories and make-up for you to use during your photo shoot. If you can bring someone like a personal assistant or even a hairdresser, hairstylist or a make-up artist with you at the set, the better. Remember, you need not bring your entire closet to the set. Just bring the right style and the most appropriate clothes for the shoot. Since it’s a fashion photography session, it’s advisable to bring clothes that flatter your figure, party clothes, gowns and the like. It’s best if you ask your fashion photographer beforehand if he has any suggestions as to which types of clothes to bring. Usually, 5 sets of clothes are more than enough. As for accessories, bring a lot of these! In fact, the rule of thumb during fashion photography sessions is – there can never be too many accessories! Accessories such as bangles, funky earrings, bib necklaces and fancy scarves can always liven up any outfit. Shoes, hair and make-up should also be appropriate and of course, stylish. If you can do your hairstyle and make-up on your own, remember to spice this up for the shoot and also remember to retouch. It is still most highly recommended, though, to bring your own hairstylist and make-up artist in order to avoid delays and other hassles.

5. Trust your fashion photographer. Remind yourself that he knows what he’s doing and that he’s a professional at work. So just relax, feel beautiful and let your photographer do his magic!

Fashion Music Makes Your Christmas Wedding More Special

People always think their wedding days are special. In order to make their wedding days unforgettable, they usually choose special dates to hold their wedding ceremonies. As Christmas is a special and romantic time of a year, more and more people tend to hold Christmas weddings to make their wedding days more beautiful and special.

To prepare a Christmas wedding, you have to prepare so many things. From the wedding dresses to the wedding music, every detail should be taken into your consideration. Then what music is suitable for a Christmas wedding? When guests are being seated and waiting for the ceremony to begin, you can choose traditional Christmas carols as the background music. As we all know, traditional Christmas carols are usually beautiful and bright, they can easily bring people into the happy festival atmosphere. Here are some carols you can choose from: Joy to the World, Silent Night, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and so on.

Of course, you have many choices about your wedding music and need not to choose Christmas songs listed above. You can choose whatever you like, as long as it can inspires you. For example, you may have a favorite song that you have always loved, you can choose it. if you cannot find suitable Christmas songs for your wedding, you can listen some Christmas CDs or even search such songs online. I am sure you can find a piece of music which can touch your heart and move you.

After the wedding ceremony, the lighter music is better to be played. The ceremony music can be a slow, solemn song, but when you are walking back up the aisle and in the reception, you can choose lighter songs, Jingle All the Way, for example.

While selecting your wedding music, you should also pay attention to the instruments on your wedding. Some songs are beautiful when played by media player, while some may be better for a piano. If you choose a song known widely, you can make it played by instruments. If the song is less know, you can choose a vocalist so that the words of the song can be seen by the guests.

Although you are holding a Christmas themed wedding ceremony, traditional wedding music is also can be used. You can choose the music freely and the various kinds of music may make your wedding multivariate.

Of course, when choosing your wedding music, you should also take the wedding place into your consideration. If your wedding place is the church, then the music should be strict and formal. If your wedding is hold outdoors or at a hotel, then you can choose your music more freely and with fewer limitations.

How To Write A Song That Makes Sense

In the music world, if you already have plenty of money, you can write any kind of song in any fashion. You can use your money in the marketing of the song, to make up for any talent you lack in writing. It may not turn out to be a standard, or what some call a classic, but the song may have some short term success.

Now if you don’t have the money and you want to know how to write a real song, this is the article for you.

This article is on the mechanics of writing a song. I have chosen one of my favorite songs for an example in this article.I wrote it a long time ago, but I still think it’s a good song today. Though I believe it is a very good song, some may think the substance of the song could use some work.(in the creative field, we all have our own views, taste, and opinions) So this article is based on just the proper structure in the art of songwriting.

Well first of all, in writing a song one has to choose what song pattern they want to use. Some song patterns fit better for certain songs than others. I’m going to use shorthand to explain these song patterns. The letter V=verse. The letter C=chorus, and the letter B=bridge.

The most commonly used song patterns in the songs you hear on the radio are, VCVCBC, VVBV, VVCVBC, or something along that line. My song that I’ll be using in this article “Down The Road Of Love” has a VVCVCBC song pattern to it.These are not only the most popular song patterns, but also the most successful ones writers use in writing a song.

What is important to remember though, is to create a NEW song pattern WITHIN a conventional song pattern. You do this for originality purposes. You use common song patterns to write memorable good songs, but you also have to have your own original twist to that song.

In most cases the song is about love. You as a writer has to create and put your own personal touch, on every love song your about to write.

I’m sure everyone knows where the all so important title goes, (“Down The Road Of Love”).

The first verse goes like this:

I was cruising through life, with my pedal to the floor.
And God knew I was running on “E”.
So he sent me your love, to slow me down.
Cause Heaven wasn’t waiting on me.

Now the second verse goes as follows:

I was losing my mind, with my body and my soul.
To the devil who was wearing a grin.
I never saw any flashing red lights.
Till your love took me for a spin.

Then the chorus:

Down The Road Of Love, where life unfolds.
All the beauty and the secret, this world holds.
Down The Road Of Love, where your love’s my key.
In making heaven on earth a reality.

Now the third verse:

Now love’s steering my life, with you holding on the wheel.
I couldn’t ask for a better guide.
Cause I never traveled the right roads in life.
Till your love took me for a ride.

Repeat Chorus:

Bridge:

So I’m thanking you for life, and God above.
For a life I never could have dreamed of.

Repeat Chorus:

Okay, now there is the complete song. It has three sets of different music to it. The repeating chorus has it’s own, as well as the short bridge, that wraps up the song. Those two parts of the song musically and lyrically stand alone. The three different verses also has the same music in all three verses.This is a great song to show how, though the words are different in the verses, the beat, tempo, and music is the same in each verse. You can just read each line and see how each line in each verse work together. You can also see how it flows naturally, without forcing any notes, syllables, or words. You may also notice the perfect rhyming pattern created in this song, that also flows naturally.

Now this is a crash course on writing a good song, the proper and professional way. Of course I’m not able to mention all I know about the craft of writing songs in one article, but it should give you a good understanding on how to write a song.

The Best Kinks Songs – Top 5 And Why

1) “Strangers” from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970)

Pure philosophy delivered in musical form. Strangers wasn’t the biggest commercial hit from the album, but it is surely the most enduring. The simple structure delivers a potent message of camaraderie among human kind. This is one of those songs that will stick in your head and, if you actually listen carefully to what its saying, could change your life. Any top-five list without this song would be misinformed!

2) “Lola” from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970)

When you hear this song it’s the kind that sounds like something you swear you’ve heard before, but can’t quite place. Lola was the first major hit song about a transvestite. The song has the feel of an anthem and is one of the classic tracks from that era. Lyrically, the song is equally brilliant. You’re tipped off that the song is about a transvestite in a few places, but the use of imagery is one of the highlights… “… in a dark brown voice she said, “Lola””, and “Girls will be boys and boys will be girls… “, are two of this author’s favorite lyrics.

3) “Sunny Afternoon” from Face to Face (1966)

This song feels like laying under a tree on a warm summer day. At the same time, the song feels a bit like something you’d hear at a carnival or circus. The song is a great example of The Kinks strong, yet complex melody lines.

4) “You Really Got Me” from Kinks (1964)

This was the band’s first big hit. Here you hear the musical foreshadowing of the power chord driven pop-punk music that would later follow it. Simple, driving, rock. Nothing fancy, but something to remember. This song is all about energy rather than complex instrumentation or harmonies.

5) “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” from Dedicated Follower of Fashion (1966)

Hipsters beware! In this song Ray Davies goes after the crowd that draws its identity from fashion. As always, a catchy tune mixed with great harmony lines will have you humming this song for the rest of the day. And it will give you a reason to go out in your ratty old t-shirt and jeans without feeling bad. My favorite line from the song: “He thinks he is a flower to be looked at, and when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight, he feels a dedicated follower of fashion.”

Do Addicts Really Recover?

In my line of work as addiction professional, I’m often asked “Do people with addiction get better?” The question may sound simple but it’s not really that simple. There are so many facets to addiction. The chemicals are but one aspect. There also are the addict’s personality attributes, attitudes, lifestyle, and values – all contributing and feeding the addiction syndrome. For most people, the obsession by the addict to consume chemicals is the most salient aspect of addiction. This becomes their focus of attention when asking the question, “Do addicts really recover?” Meaning can they give up drugs and become “normal” people again?

After a closer look at addiction, one begins to realize that the chemical abuse is intimately tied to the person’s mental health, lifestyle, and personal values. For example, it is hard to ignore an addict’s criminal activities related to supporting his drug habit or an alcoholic’s scheming and manipulating behavior to hide his alcoholism when the addicted or alcoholic is trying to pursue “recovery.” Can people “recover” from addiction and still carry on with these criminal or anti-social inclinations? What are the chances of a recovering person remaining abstinent while continuing to sell drugs or maintaining his connection with friends who are involved in criminal activities? Can a recovering alcoholic remain sober while bar-tending?

My point is that there is a “quality of life” a recovering addict or alcoholic must maintain to achieve a certain level of healthy living. For some this may mean pursuing counseling or following medication regime to control psychiatric symptoms. For others, a complete lifestyle change may be necessary to re-align personal priorities and internalize pro-social values. With addiction, old associations — people, places, and things – can easily trigger a relapse to old “bad habits.” There is a common belief among recovering persons that “picking-up” drugs or any substances is the last step in the relapse process. Long before the actual substance use, the person has already relapsed in his thinking – reflected in noticeable changes in attitude, values, and over-all behavior.

To go back to the original question: “Do addicts really recover?” The answer is a relative yes. For some who consider their addiction as a disorder of the whole person and take a holistic view of recovery, they aspire more than giving up the chemicals to include a reinvention of themselves, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Others are content with minimizing the harmful effects of illicit drug use but still resort to alcohol use. Still others give up drugs but continue to have dysfunctional patterns of coping or residual manifestations of personality disorders.

Do Addicts Really Recover?
Dr. Fernando B. Perfas

How Nicotine Test Helps Employers to Establish Smoke-Free Workplace

Nicotine abuse is an issue affecting the profitability of businesses and the environment at workplaces. Employers are insisting on measures that will help them make the workplaces free from smoking of tobacco so as to make their businesses more productive.

Employers in US imposing ban on smokers:

Increasing numbers of employers in US are rejecting the applications of candidates who smoke. They are abiding by the laws framed by the government for the purpose and are not hiring who they find to be smokers. To know whether the prospective hired is smoker, they conduct tests. Those who are found positive for smoking are not offered employment.

Nicotine test helps them to detect smokers – instantly:

Employers apply different techniques to tackle the issue of smoking. These include testing for tobacco (nicotine) by different methods. These tests are helpful to identify if the applicant really smokes tobacco or not. Generally, a nicotine test can be conducted using urine, saliva or hair follicle samples. Employers use any or a combination of these techniques.

Benefits of establishing smoke-free environment:

A smoke-free environment improves productivity of the employees and reduces health insurance costs. Employers find smoke-free workplace beneficial on the following grounds.

Increased productive hours:

A no-smoking environment results in higher number of productive hours than in a smoking permitted one. Employees not used to smoking concentrate better on work and hence there is greater number of productive hours. They are healthy and take few sick leaves.

Whereas, smoking employees take unauthorized breaks to smoke, which is waste of productive time.

Healthy atmosphere:

As healthy employees are more focused on productivity, there is cordial relation between employees as well as employers. Such workplaces boost the employees’ morale and work potential and encourage talented workforce to work for more number of hours. Employers too reciprocate and get prompted to take positive action on any issue.

Shows professional approach of the business:

A smoke-free workplace, places the employer’s image in a positive view among the employees, peers, government, and social groups. The welfare measures taken serve as an example for professional approach taken by the employer. This will enhance mutual trust between the employer and employees.

Reduces healthcare costs:

Following a no-smoking policy at workplace would result in less healthcare costs. This is because, the employees are healthy and need lower health maintenance expenses – be it insurance premium or medical emergencies. These factors are known to cause increased medical expenses to employers in case of employees habituated to smoking. Studies show that, post non-smoking policy there is remarkable decline in the tobacco caused heart attacks, making current smokers to quit (Source: Forbes, 12 June, 2016).

Taking up nicotine tests to enforce a smoking-free environment at workplace is beneficial. The measures, of course, entail costs to the employers.

Which Is the Most Difficult Drug to Detox From?

The hardest drugs to detox from depend on your perspective. If by “difficult” you’re referring to the severity of dangerous medical symptoms that occur during withdrawal, then the obvious answer is alcohol and benzodiazepine. Both of these drugs could kill you during detox. But if you’re referring to the severity of emotional, mental and spiritual symptoms that affect a person during drug detox, then most addicts will agree that opiates are the most difficult; especially opiates like Methadone that are designed to help wean an addict from other opiates like heroin.

The Most Difficult Drugs to Withdraw/Detox From: Medical Reasons

The following substances prove especially challenging for many addicts to withdraw from considering the serious medical risks of doing so: Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines and Alcohol. The withdrawal process has been known to cause life-threatening complications in some people. This includes pulmonary and cardiovascular distress, respiratory depression, grand mal seizures, delirium tremens, hallucinations, coma and death.

Fortunately, death is rare but nevertheless the fact that it is possible creates a deterrent to treatment for some addicts. In most cases the risks of withdrawing from these substances can be mitigated by attending detox in a professional medical setting where healthcare practitioners and addiction experts can observe the detox process and respond immediately in case of any complications.

The Most Difficult Drugs to Withdraw/Detox From: Emotional Reasons

Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, the first annals of history were recorded by the ancient Sumerians. Translations of stone etchings show that these early peoples farmed and used opium extensively. In fact, their word for the plant can be translated to “Joy;” an apt description considering the widespread abuse of opium for the next several thousand years. By nearly all accounts, the euphoric high obtained by using opium is the highest feeling of joy most addicts have ever felt. But herein lays the problem.

When a person uses an opiate like heroin or Oxycontin to get high, they rapidly build up a tolerance not only to the drug, but also to euphoria. This means that it becomes more and more difficult to obtain the same euphoric effect with the same amount of opiates, so in nearly all cases users continually increase their dosages – some to the point of overdose and death. But in general the central nervous system becomes more and more desensitized to stimulus that would normally cause feeling of joy or euphoria. In fact, the opposite often occurs, resulting in a state known as Dysphoria; the opposite of euphoria.

Dysphoria is a severe problem for people who are detoxing/withdrawing from opiates because after the stop using the drug they often find it difficult or impossible to find joy or happiness in anything. This causes severe bouts of depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and unexplained misery, terrible sadness and overwhelming inadequacy and loneliness; even in the presence of others. These emotional and spiritual symptoms drive many people in the early stages of recovery to return to drug use in order to self-medicate their general state of dysphoria.

Opiates Used to Treat Addiction to Other Opiates

Many addicts report and anecdotal evidence suggests that withdrawing and detoxing from opiates that are used to treat addiction to other opiates is a severe and extremely challenging process. The reasons for this are not understood, but it’s possible that because most opiate treatment drugs like methadone block the release of dopamine, addicts do not obtain a euphoric effect, even though they are spared the normal symptoms of withdrawal (essentially because methadone maintenance merely prolongs the addictive process.)

Support forums on group sharing often results in addicts advising each other NOT to go on an opiate maintenance program and to tough out the initial stages of a more “pure” withdrawal instead. Therefore, it could be argued that detoxing from opiate maintenance drugs is the most difficult type of detox to undergo.

The Kindling Effect

Regardless of the substance, the Kindling Effect can make detox and withdrawal an absolute nightmare; especially if the addict in question has relapsed repeatedly in their lifetime. The concept of Kindling is that with each progressive relapse and subsequent withdrawal, the brain and central nervous system become more highly sensitized (or highly desensitized) to drug abuse and the feelings it creates. As a result withdrawal symptoms are much more severe and potentially dangerous for these individuals than for others.

Ultimately, the most challenging detox is the one you’re about to go through. Taking that first step is extraordinarily difficult regardless of what drug you use and how long and hard you’ve been using it. But the reality of the situation is that left unabated the consequences of continued active addiction are in every instance more severe and potentially life-changing that the actual process of withdrawal and detox, which usually takes 10 days or less for most people.

If you or someone you love is fighting addiction, the most valuable weapon you can give them is action. Do it now; get help, get a free consultation, and take the first step before it’s too late to move forward at all.

7 Habits of an Addict About to Relapse

Many addicts in recovery that are nearing a relapse episode exhibit predictable and identifiable habits and behaviors before the actual relapse occurs. Recognition of these habits is critical in order for people in recovery and their loved ones to take decisive and immediate action to prevent the relapse. This is especially important considering the potential consequences of each new relapse episode: prison, violence, bankruptcy, death. Relapse prevention isn’t just about stopping someone from using again; it’s about saving a life.

The following are 7 behaviors that many addicts exhibit prior to and/or during the early stages of a relapse:

1.) Withdrawal/Isolation

A person in recovery who is on the verge of relapse will likely become withdrawn and purposefully isolate other people around them. This is particularly true of people that will not support or condone a return to drug use or drinking. This could be evidenced by spending less time with family members, staying out later at night than normal or not coming home, and by seeming withdrawn and quiet when others are present.

2.) Decline in Hygiene/Productivity

There is often a lack of care and concern when a relapse is imminent. Meaning, less attention is paid to personal hygiene details, exercise programs are abandoned, employment or educational inefficiencies or neglect occurs, and regular household upkeep suffers. These are all common signs of an addict who is beginning to care less and less about trying to maintain a legitimate lifestyle.

3.) Glorification of Substance Abuse

An addict that is unhappy with or neglectful of their recovery will often yearn for the days when they used drugs or drank. They may talk about using and relive their past drug use in the form of stories, anecdotes and comments that make it clear that they miss those times, despite the severe consequences they suffered as a result. (Levels of Relapse Warning Signs, T. Gorski)

4.) Reconnecting

An early warning of relapse is when a person in recovery begins to reconnect with friends or acquaintances they used drugs or drank with. This refers mainly to individuals who are potentially still using drugs or those who do not support recovery/sobriety. These reconnections are especially troubling when the person in question has withdrawn from people that DO support their recovery.

5.) Engaging in Risky Behavior

An addict in recovery that is about to relapse will often exhibit abnormally risky behavior. This could include extreme sports or other athletic activities, promiscuity, excessive speeding and other dangerous activities. Engaging in behaviors such as these fills a certain need for excitement and euphoria, but for most addicts in recovery the only euphoria that will satiate them is a return to their drug of choice.

6.) Secretive

As people in recovery get closer to relapse, they sometimes become secretive; carefully guarding their phone or computer, remaining tight-lipped concerning where they go, who they’re with, etc. Often at this stage the relapse has already begun and secrecy is required in order to conceal it.

7.) Abandoning Treatment

Addicts in recovery usually engage in some type of ongoing treatment as part of a relapse prevention program. This can take many forms, but when people in recovery are nearing a relapse episode, they often abandon these types of treatment with little explanation. When combined with any or all of the behaviors outlined above, it’s likely that for these people, relapse is imminent. (Carole Bennett, M.A. 6 Common Relapse Triggers PsychologyToday.com)

If you recognize these signs in yourself or someone you love who is in recovery, taking swift action is critical. This should begin by addressing the issue directly with the individual, and escalate to involve the person’s support network, treatment specialists and if needed, an interventionist.

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N Roll: The Real Story

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll is a common dream that few will know; but many try and so the story goes, that there’s riches there in the backstage glow. But looking in subjectively, one must put down the cell phone, the remote and the Wii, for things in the spotlight are never what they seem- when it comes to the combination of these infamous three.

It’s a tempting image we’ve too often seen; fans by the millions who clamor and scream; for a glimpse, just a touch or a kiss on the cheek; there’s no shortage of groupies and their big rock-star dreams. So backstage they go to embrace beneath the sheets; neither star nor fan knowing if the other is clean. Just ask Freddy Mercury of Queen or the legend Easy E, or ponder the math of promiscuity. The more sex one has the more threats one will see; the chances for most are about 1 in 3.

Of course, the risk is increased when one factors in drugs, which diminish good judgment and moral aplomb. To this many a rock star can certainly attest, with unwanted pregnancies, herpes, syphilis and the rest.

But if the threat of disease isn’t enough, consider the sexual dysfunction that could be caused by drugs; with repeated use the good feelings fade – until sex feels like nothing and relationships become strained. Then all that’s left is to get high and play; but the music, like sex, is empty and grey.

This is the way so many rock stars go; they hide in the weed, the booze and the coke. They wait for salvation in the fame or the dough, but round and round with the drugs they still go. It’s a tired old story with so many names, of rock ‘n roll legends this disease has claimed;

Janis Joplin overdosed on heroin and Hendrix choked on his own puke – while passed out and delirious on ‘barbs and on booze. John Bonham from Led Zeppelin would likewise follow suit, and choke on his vomit after 40 shots of booze. Jay Bennett, from Wilco; lost to overdose, not long after Wes Berggren from Tripping Daisy died from cocaine and ‘benzos.

Steve Clark from Def Leppard, Kevin DuBrow from Quiet Riot, both died far too young from a cocaine-based diet. Slipknot’s Paul Grey died from morphine and pills, while Sublime lost their front-man to a heroin thrill. It was heroin too, that took Kurt Cobain and bassist friend Pfaff; the loss to the grunge scene marred its future and past.

Some groups have lost more than one member to the scourge of addiction, the call of drug abuse – The Pretenders, The Grateful Dead, Alice in Chains and The Who – were all scarred forever when their deaths numbered 2. But it’s not a problem isolated to just these few; The Temptations, Sex Pistols, AC/DC, Blues Traveler, Weezer, Mad Season, Avenged Sevenfold and Red Hot Chili Peppers all lost members too.

So it’s clear to the people and plainly we must see, that the image of fame is not presented impartially. And though the story won’t change and it’s long as it goes, there’s still the allure of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll.

The Paradox of Drug Abuse and Euphoria

One of the most significant reasons that people abuse drugs is for the euphoric effects they provide. While many might argue that people use substances to escape reality, to cope with stress and an unlimited number of other reasons, the fact of the matters is that euphoria makes these things possible: drugs cause people to feel good, even if they weren’t necessarily feeling bad to begin with. Unfortunately, the neurological nature of addiction tells us that substance abuse actually makes it more challenging for people to feel euphoria, happiness and contentment.

How Drug Abuse Works: Understanding the Role of Dopamine

The following is a highly simplified explanation of the processes at work when a person abuses drugs:

1.) Drug is consumed which sends signals to neurons in the brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine (or others in some cases).

2.) Dopamine binds with specialized receptors and produces a feeling of well-being, contentment and euphoria.

3.) Drugs prevent dopamine re-uptake, essentially leaving the substance in the brain for much longer than would ever occur in a natural environment.

4.) Dopamine stimulates the reward center of the brain, which creates a contextual log of the event to use as cues to prompt the user to repeat the behavior. (This is based on the theory that addiction is a byproduct of an innate evolutionary survival mechanism.)

And with these four steps, the groundwork for addiction has been laid.

Tolerance: Another Evolutionary Survival Mechanism

In order to offset the effects of chemical substances, the central nervous system will make changes to receptors and neuronal circuitry to create a resistance to the drug. This can be accomplished by making fewer receptors available, altering the structure of receptors, limiting or restricting their ability to bind to neurotransmitters, or by “disconnecting” parts of neuronal circuits.

The chemical resistance created by adaptations at the neuronal level means that the user will obtain less and less euphoric effect because the CNS essentially views the drug as an invading foreign substance that interferes with the proper working functions of the brain. Of course, this is exactly what drug abuse is; persistent self-inflicted poisoning.

In order to offset the euphoria-limiting effects of tolerance, drug users will simply increase their dosages accordingly. This prompts more changes in neurons – changes that by this point are becoming permanent for many addicts. Ultimately, these changes only make it harder to feel euphoria and generally lead to depression, thoughts of suicide, feelings of worthlessness and other debilitating emotions.

In fact, feelings that are specific to certain drugs, such as high-energy to cocaine, relaxation to marijuana and joy to opiates, are often reversed as the body becomes tolerant to the drugs that cause these responses. This is especially true when an addict suddenly stops using; by forcing drugs into their bodies for so long, they have effectively developed a tolerance to the very feelings they sought to achieve with their substance abuse in the first place.

To summarize, drug abuse can destroy a person’s ability to feel good. And because addiction often comes with repeated relapse events, each successive period of active drug addiction results in additional, permanent changes within the brain – changes that can have a lasting effect on the emotional and mental well-being of the user for the rest of their lives.

This isn’t information to be used as a scare tactic to keep people away from drugs; it’s nothing more than science expressed. People take drugs to feel good, but once addicted those feelings become harder and harder to achieve, even long after active drug use has stopped. This is why it is absolutely critical that if you or someone you love is abusing drugs, they must stop now. With each passing day and each successive “high,” the one thing that they seek – happiness – becomes more difficult to come by; often leading to personal disaster.

The ultimate paradox of drug abuse is that it robs from you what you seek from it.