The Catch-22 of drug addiction and MMA


goldenboyart - Nice article. Drug addiction and the "addict" is still stigmatized like no other disease out there. It's not a matter of low morals or no self control but that's what the average person thinks.

It actually changes your brain chemistry. People are not "BORN" being prone to any addictions. It's not nature but nurture. I won't go into a lot of the science since I'd probably just be wasting my time but when a child is raised in a stressful environment they don't make the proper oxytocin (the love drug) that bonds Mother to child, lover to lover etc. The oxytocin production levels in your brain level off at 3 years of age. Meaning that you're stuck with those levels for the rest of your life.

Doctor's can actually check adult levels of oxytocin and can know if you were raised in a stressful environment as a baby.

This low level of oxytocin is the template for any type of addiction. Be it sex, drugs, shopping, eating. alcohol etc. As far as the brain and endorphins are concerned it's all the same since it triggers the endorphin receptors.

It's not genetic either. Doctors see Granddad was an alcoholic, Dad an alcoholic and son an alcoholic and just draw a straight line and say it's genetic. But it's not.

With Granddad being an alcoholic Dad was raised in a super stressful environment. Wife under stress and the baby is a sponge and picks up on all of this. Same goes for Son. It's nurture. No one is born predisposed to being an addict. It's cutting edge science which the mainstream hasn't picked up on.

Case in point. The University of Vancouver did a study with two sets of Mothers and their babies. One set of the babies were raised in a loving non-stressful environment. The second set the Mothers were depressed. The babies were all brain Scanned via EEG's. The depressed set of babies scans showed spikes up and down. The babies from the stress free Mothers scans showed gentle hills or waves.

So the researchers didn't even have to look at the Mothers to know which ones were depressed.

There might be a correlation between this and others choosing to be a MMA fighter?

Of course it goes much deeper than this.

But the main problem after some has become addicted to pain meds is the altered chemistry in the brain. The brain gets an influx of opiates from the pain pills or synthetic heroin aka Percocet, dilaudid, etc. and this fits the endorphin receptors like a key.

What happens next is how people become addicted so fast. The brain does two things at this pint. It shuts down it's own production of endorphins and also adds many more endorphin receptors due to all the pain medication and extra opiates coming into the brain. These new opiate receptors want to be filled hence the user becomes tolerant to the normal dose so they up the dose to compensate.

When you stop using you're left with an over-abundance of opiate receptors along with NO production of endorphins. That's why the body goes through such terrible withdrawals.

Also after detox you're left with what is called PAWS, (Post acute withdrawal syndrome). Where your legs ache, chills, sleepless nights etc.

What the body has to do is go through what's called receptor reduction. With the brain closing down all the extra opiate receptors that it made due to all the opiates and also has to start production of it's own natural pain killing substance endorphins.

Depending on how long the user has used it could be anywhere between 4 months to a year before the brain is back to normal. Anytime before this is a hard period for people and they usually relapse if they don't have a strong support system.

But the main thing to realize is this is a disease just as much as cancer and a light should be shinned on this as strongly as any other disease.

I could go on but I think no one will read what I wrote in the first place, LOL. Basically the template for any addiction is groomed during the first 2 years of life. that's why most people can drink 2 drinks or take pain meds as prescribed and then stop with no problem whereas others have no control due to their low oxytocin levels and being raised in a stressful environment. Basically when they use they actually feel good for the first time in their life.

That's how strongly the pull is. Enough for some to throw away their family, friends, job, teeth, and live out in the street. It takes a compassionate and caring health professional to bring them back from the brink and even then it's not enough sometimes. This is an epidemic, not just fighters but professionals, house wives, kids and on and on.

Also didn't mean to hijack your post. Just wanted to add to it.

Is there really such a thing as being born with an addictive personality? I've heard it can run in families and can include anything from drugs/alcohol to food.

Which ultimate fighter were you on Santino? Can't remember if it was one of the seasons where they supplied all the alcohol. If so how did you feel about it?

i was on the 9th season, and they did supply all of the alcohol for our season--I think that's standard practice for all the seasons.

I really don't have an issue with the alcohol being in the house, as I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with drinking alcohol as long as someone's not using it to mask other ailments e.g. depression, anxiety, pain.

I agree drinking casually is not an issue. I felt the context was incorrect. It can definitely be said some of the fighters hurt their chances due to their inability to handle their drinking. Zuffa should of not let that happen. Some of those guys were alcoholics before they stepped on the set.