A new study of opioids reveals a tie between drug addiction and social connection.
Science has long known that having positive social connection is important to a happy and healthy life. But less is understood about how our brains support and encourage connecting with others.
While prior research has suggested oxytocin plays a role in nurturing and trusting others, thereby strengthening social bonds, many researchers also suspect that brain opioids are important to social connection. Opioids are naturally occurring brain chemicals—perhaps the most well-known being endorphins—that cause pleasurable sensations in the body and encourage us to enjoy whatever we are experiencing. It’s possible that opioids also cause the warm feelings we get in social encounters, thereby encouraging us to be more engaged with others.
But, according to a recent study, the role of opioids may be a little more complicated than that—and there are practical implications for how we treat drug addiction.
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I believe we can find joy in the journey of life while keeping our ambitions, goals, health, personal and spiritual lives satisfied. If we learn to prioritize living life while planning for the future, we can find the work-life balance that fuels dreams. I’m talking, simply, about retiring while you work.”
– David Adams
In an increasingly unpredictable financial world, most of us are more open than ever to new thinking when it comes to mapping out our futures. I spoke with financial planner David Adams recently after hearing one of his radio programs, and was impressed by him. His personal history says a lot about his work ethic and vision.
Some background: By his early 30s, Adams had reached a pinnacle of success as one of the nation’s top financial planners. He had a big house in a popular area of town, reached a tremendous level of professional and financial success, and was well-regarded as as a thought leader in his industry. But he didn’t feel whole. So he spent the next five years investing time and money in self-discovery and personal development. What he learned through all of that he now shares on his weekly radio program, Retire While You Work, broadcast on Sundays at 5 p.m. CST on News Radio WLAC 1510 AM, 98.3 FM, and on iHeart Radio.
Also, he was recognized in 2016 as a Top 40 under 40 IBD Advisor in the U.S by WealthManagement.com and REP magazine. Adams also appeared on the cover of Investment News as “Advisor to the Stars” for the work he does with musicians, songwriters and those in the entertainment industry. Additionally, Nashville Lifestyles selected him as one of the 25 Most Beautiful people in 2016 and Nashville Business Journal ‘s 40 Under 40 2017 for not only his professional accolades, but his devotion and commitment to non-profit service. While these accolades are important, Adams true passion is helping his audience, whether it be on the radio or through motivational speaking engagements.
As Adams explains on his radio show as well as through his motivational speaking engagements, “Retiring while you work is a way of looking at life. It allows you the freedom to enjoy life now while also planning for tomorrow.” Adams connects with his audiences and shares the tools necessary for adjusting one’s view of life and work, and explains why he feels the concept of retirement in this country is broken. He challenges us to rethink conventional wisdom with some basic concepts that support the Retire While You Workplan.
Here is part of our discussion:
· 'Practical hiring' is the technique of testing candidates' self-awareness.
· After they present a product or presentation to you, ask them, "What would you do differently?"
· Candidates that can answer immediately and thoughtfully are the ones that can identify more efficient processes and strive for improvement.
Résumés featuring ivy league schools, past positions with top tier organizations, fancy logos, job titles and impressive tech skills — they all mean nothing.
I immediately file résumés in the trash.
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We all have stress in our lives. When it comes to your teens, you know that school (like homework, tests, SATs, college applications) combined with juggling social media and after-school activities is one of the biggest sources — and you want to make sure that it doesn’t lead them to unhealthy behaviors to help cope.
Stress can be a motivator, but it also can produce negative feelings and, unfortunately, increase the possibility that a teen will use drugs. When people are under stress, the brain releases cortisol, the stress hormone. Over time and under chronic stress, parts of the brain that are related to memory or learning are negatively affected by the presence of cortisol. Interestingly, some of these areas of the brain are the same parts impacted by drug use and addiction. In reality, your child’s brain is still developing until age 25, and stress can damage parts of the brain that can make your child more vulnerable to drug addiction, in the same way that early use of drugs can.
It’s not a new concept that stress can lead to drug use and addiction — far from it — but it’s something that many parents don’t necessarily associate with school and the good intentions that they have for their kids. Abusing drugs not prescribed to them, like prescription stimulants, act on the "reward center" in your child’s brain, releasing euphoric chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. In time, they can cause the brain to rely on drugs to keep those chemicals flowing. While drugs might make your child temporarily feel respite, in the long run, misusing drugs actually makes stress more pronounced.
Unfortunately, those exposed to chronic stress are more likely to use substances in an attempt to relax or "power through" the stress, so it’s important that your child knows how to use healthy coping mechanisms instead to deal with the pressures he or she faces.
We explored teen stress and anxiety in a back-to-school blog post series, including how to help your child manage stress in a healthy way. Take a look: