DiscoverCounselor Toolbox PodcastBiopsychosocial Impact of Addiction And Mental Disorders on the Individual
Biopsychosocial Impact of Addiction And Mental Disorders on the Individual

Biopsychosocial Impact of Addiction And Mental Disorders on the Individual

Update: 2019-07-064


406 -Biopsychosocial Impact of Addiction and Mental Disorders on the Individual

Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC

Executive Director: AllCEUs Counseling Education

Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox


– Examine the biological (physical) impact of addiction and mental health issues on the individual

– Examine the psychological impact of addiction and mental health issues on the individual

– Examine the social impact of addiction and mental health issues on the individual

– Identify interventions in each area.

Biological Impact of Mood Disorders

– Caused by an imbalance of:

– Serotonin (Calming/balancing)

– GABA (Calming)

– Glutamate (Excitatory)

– Norepinepherine (Excitatory)

– Dopamine (Pleasure)

Biological Impact of Mood Disorders

– Effects

– Disrupted sleep

– Fatigue

– Irritability

– Nutritional changes

– Increased muscle tension

– Reduced pain tolerance

– Gastrointestinal disturbances

Biological Impact of Addictions

– Direct (neurotransmitter imbalances)

– Tolerance

– Withdrawal

Neurotransmitters, Addiction & Black Friday

– Normal day

– Normal store capacity is 750 people.

– The store needs a constant 500 to stay open

– The store has 8 doors to allows for people to easily enter and exit without getting “bunched”

– Black Friday

– 1500 people push through the door as soon as it opens

– Store is destroyed

– Staff is exhausted

– Takes time to restock and refresh staff

– Management closes all but two doors and adds security guards to manage flow

Biological Impact of Addictions

– Indirect

– Reduced Immunity

– More rapid aging

– Sleep difficulties

– Nutritional deficits

– Reduced pain tolerance & Increased pain

– Disease (Hepatitis, HIV, TB, MRSA)

The Brain Under Stress

Biological Impact of Alcohol

– Alcohol

– Heart damage

– High blood pressure

– Fatty liver

– Hepatitis

– Cirrhosis

– Pancreatitis

– Cancers of the mouth, throat, liver and breast

– Reduced immunity

– Brittle bones

Biological Impact

– Alcohol

– Brain damage through:

– The toxic effects of alcohol on brain cells

– The biological stress of repeated intoxication and withdrawal

– Alcohol-related cerebrovascular disease

– Head injuries from falls sustained when inebriated.

– Alcohol related birth defects (FASD)

Biological Impact

– Alcohol

– Nutrient deficiencies:

– Vitamins: A, E, D, K,B12, folic acid, thiamine

– Thiamine deficiencies, which cause severe neurological problems such as impaired movement and memory loss seen in Wernicke/Korsakoff syndrome (memory disorder often seen in Alzheimers)

– Calcium

– Iron (intestinal bleeding)

– Dehydration

Biological Impact of Caffeine

– Negative

– Stimulant/jitters

– Increased blood pressure

– Heart palpitations

– Heartburn/Diarrhea

– Disrupted sleep

– Dehydration

– Miscarriage

– Osteoporosis

– Positive (with moderate intake)

– Lower risk of Alzheimer's and dementia

– Decreased suicide risk

– Increased endurance

– Decreased risk of oral cancer

Biological Impact of Nicotine

– Nicotine (including gums and vapors)

– Highly addictive

– Activates neurotransmitters

– Pain and anxiety relief

– Reduced appetite

– Respiratory irritation

– Increased heart rate and blood pressure

– Hyperglycemia

– Decreased immune response

– Increased oxidative stress (which leads to cancer)

– Increased risk of diabetes

Biological Impact of Marijuana

– Positive

– Altered senses

– Hallucinations

– Nausea reduction

– Pain management (3 puffs a day)

– Improved sleep

Biological Impact of Marijuana

– Negative (Dependent on the amount of depends on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana)

– Neurochemical changes causing short-term problems with attention, memory, and learning

– Impacts brain development in children (permanent changes)—Even second hand smoke

– Increased risk of testicular cancer

– Increased heart rate and blood pressure

– Significant increase in the risk of heart attack in the hours after marijuana use

– Bronchitis, cough, and phlegm production

– Delusions/psychosis

Biological Impact of Opioids

– Positive

– Pain Relief

– Euphoria

– Negative

– Reduced heart rate and respiration

– Constipation

– Fatigue

– Nausea

– Highly addictive. Tolerance starts to develop in 3-5 days

– Body quits producing natural pain killers (endogenous opioids)

Biological Interventions

– Improve sleep quality

– Ensure adequate nutrition

– Assist in the development of nonpharmacological pain management (stretching, ergonomics)

– Rule out/address physical causes of depression/anxiety

– Thyroid issues

– Hormone imbalances

– Adrenal insufficiency

– Diabetes

– Heart problems

Psychological Impact of Mood Disorders

– Hopelessness

– Helplessness

– Guilt

– Anger about not being “normal”

– Anxiety that things won’t improve

– Grief over loss of prior function

Psychological Impact of Addictive Behavior

– Direct

– Euphoria/Relaxation

– Depression/ Lack of Pleasure/Anxiety

– Insufficient dopamine

– Imbalance of:

– Serotonin

– Norepinephrine


– Glutamate

Psychological Impact of Addictive Behaviors

– Indirect

– Depression and/or anxiety continued…

– Lack of sleep

– Malnutrition

– Guilt

– Being overwhelmed by the mess

– Initial “pain” still there

Psychological Interventions

– Enhance hope and empowerment

– Develop resilience skills

– Identify and address cognitive distortions

– Enhance self-esteem

– Teach distress tolerance, coping and problem solving skills

– Educate about the connection between behaviors, thoughts and feelings

– Address guilt

– Identify and address grief triggers (not “normal,” loss of function, etc.)

Social Impact of Mood & Addictive Disorders

– Isolation / withdrawal

– Loss of supportive, healthy relationships

– Pushed away

– Chose to leave

– Friends share same dysfunctional thinking

– Stinkin’ Thinkin’: Minimization, rationalization, blaming

– Cognitive Distortions

Social Interventions

– Enhance social support and reduce isolation via support groups

– Improve interpersonal effectiveness skills

– Educate about healthy relationships and boundaries

– Examine and address characteristics of current relationships that mitigate or exacerbate problems.

Total Picture

– Someone who has become physiologically less able to experience happiness or pleasure may…

– Have a desire to find that feeling (addiction)

– And keep that feeling (protect the addiction at all costs)

– Mood disorders contribute to a host of other problems including

– Pain

– Reduced immunity

– Sleep problems

– Lost work time/productivity

– Relationship issues


– Addiction and mood disorders have both direct and indirect consequences for the person

– Biologically/Physically

– Psychologically

– Socially


– All aspects of the person in recovery must be addressed.

– It is hard to change your thinking when you don’t feel well (Bio)

– It is hard to change physical habits when you are depressed and unmotivated (Psycho)

– It is hard to change thinking or health habits without social support (one of our greatest stress buffers) or energy (Social)









Biopsychosocial Impact of Addiction And Mental Disorders on the Individual

Biopsychosocial Impact of Addiction And Mental Disorders on the Individual

Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes