Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Dangerous Process of Addiction Within the Brain

In today’s America, many of us are affected by addiction personally or through a loved one. Recent statistics show that over 20 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol, not including tobacco products. Despite preventative measures, such as initiatives like D.A.R.E and others who seek to educate children, over 90% of those addicted tried their vice (alcohol, tobacco, or drugs) before the age of 18. Even with help treatment centers everywhere and insurmountable measures taken to end life-shattering addiction problems, millions of Americans are still struggling to overcome.

There are many unique reasons for initially trying these substances, and many of these reasons can lead to prolonged use. These motives can include social aspects of use, and some of them may be habit-forming; for example, socially having a drink after work can become part of a nightly routine. Many drug users start as experimenters of mild substances, eventually turning the experiment into a routine and mild substances into harder ones, in an effort to find more drastic highs. Rather than answering the question of what are opiates by doing research, these individuals prefer to find out through experience. Use can turn into abuse, which evolves into compulsion due to the different ways substances affect the brain.

Drugs and alcohol affect different parts of your brain, but addictive tendencies tend to develop in the same way. Once addicted, the brain then disregards any consequences that may arise as a result of drug and alcohol use as it becomes rewired to prioritize it.

Most of the dependence happens within the limbic system, which controls our emotional responses. Eating, for example, creates a positive reaction in the limbic system, motivating us to repeat the action. In this case, the reactions create a system in which we need to live, by rewarding us for eating. Addictive substances also give the user a good feeling which in turn creates the same reaction and motivation sequence.

Largely because of how the brain works, these steps enable the brain to develop a reward system, and the rewards are activated and heightened with every use of the addictive substance. Medical research shows that the brain believes it is being rewarded with something good and eventually with something needed. This is because most addictive substances either mimic the effects of dopamine, which sends positive signals to the brain, or they cause the brain to overproduce the dopamine. The repeated use of drugs increases the need for dopamine in that sense, forcing the user to repeatedly seek them out.

There are many unique factors that contribute to the way in which a person becomes addicted, and how long the process may take. It is important to note that the method of using the drug tends to play a large part. Certain methods, like injection and sometimes smoking, create a rush or a high of brain-rewarding activity but fades very quickly into an extremely low feeling. This reason creates a need or higher reward for repeated use. Younger users can also develop addictive traits more quickly, as scientific and medical research shows that a developing brain is more easily subject to addictive patterns.


Image: Pixabay

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What’s in the Digital Goodie Box for Moms?

Are you looking for fresh inspiration, practical tips, or just a chance to catch your breath? It’s waiting for you in the Digital Goodie Box for Moms. Have you been “making do” for far too long? Burning the candle at both ends, trying to make your limited resources stretch to fit? Hoping for a Fairy […]

© 2015 Jessica Fisher, Life As Mom. All Rights Reserved.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

How To Make The Most Of A Small Bedroom

Small spaces can be hard to deal with at times. We would all love our homes to have spacious rooms for each member of our family but the reality doesn’t always meet up with the dream. Financial strains can put a limit on how much room you can afford to buy and sometimes, that puts us in a position of having to make due with what we have.

Or, you could be fine financially and are downsizing because you feel that you don’t need all that room, which just ends up getting filled up with more and more stuff. Maybe you have adopted the ideology of minimalism and you have settled into one of those great new “tiny houses” that are all the rage.

Whatever your reasoning might be, you have found yourself here at Uplifting Families, where we have found ways to take that small bedroom and maximize the space. To us, it seems like one giant craft project, which you know we love.

So let’s see what we can do to turn that small space into a warm livable bedroom.

Use Mirrors

This has to be the oldest trick in the book. When you put mirrors on the walls, your bedroom will look twice as large. If you want to expand the effect, put mirrors on the opposite wall as well. You will be amazed at the illusionary space they will provide.

You can go all out and install full mirrors on both sides, or you can create a subtle effect by using a large mirror on one side with a few small ones on the other. This is where you can get creative with it. There are a few things you should take into consideration before installing mirrors.

They can be very heavy so make sure you walls can support the mirror you choose. If you would like large mirrors installed, it would be wise to consult a professional or do your research online. Also, mirrors fog in the humidity so you want to battle that from the beginning, especially if you live in a more tropical climate.

Other Problems With Humidity And A Tiny Space

Humidity can also make that small room feel smaller by adding stuffiness to a room that should be comfortable. On top of that, excessive humidity in a small space could up your chances of growing mold in your mattress. You can combat the humidity by simply adding a dehumidifier that would be great for a small bedroom. If you have allergies you will benefit from the reduction in humidity when you sleep as well.

Light Colors

When you are getting your small bedroom ready, try to stick with pale or light colors when painting the walls. You may think that means only white or off white but there are a myriad of pale colors available in a variety of hues. Pinks, light blues, light oranges, pale green, these are just a few of your selections.

Of course, the lighter you go the more you will feel that your room is bigger than it actually is. Dark colors overwhelm a small space when placed on the walls.

One Dark Color

This is where you can have fun with a great paint color. You may have chosen an egg shell white for your walls, which gives this small space the feel of a larger room. Take a look at the bedding you chose an pick a nice dark color from that to paint the ceiling. A deep red or dark blue would be fun.

If this room is intended for your child, you can do a dark sky ceiling with the glow-in-the-dark stars. This would be a great adventure for any child and would transform their small bedroom into a special little place in the universe when the lights are turned off.

Choose Your Furnishings Wisely

When you are choosing a bed, a dresser, or any other significant furnishing for this bedroom, consider a few things. There are a great deal of multifunctional furnishing on the market today, including headboards that serve as shelving units. Trunks are a great addition for extra storage and could also serve as a place to put up your feet or sit on when you are getting ready, opposed to messing up your bed.

Another trick is to get furniture that has legs. This is a great way to streamline the bedroom and give it an airy feeling. Just be sure to avoid storing anything underneath those furniture items, otherwise, you can start to get a cluttered look, which will only make the room feel smaller.

On To Window Treatments

If you must have shades or blinds, try to stick with something simple that blends into the colors on your walls. White walls, use white blinds or curtains. A heavy material or color on your windows can start to make you feel closed in.

Going without window treatments is a great way to make the room appear bigger. But in a bedroom, that is difficult to do because we dress in there and sunlight peers in first thing in the morning. So, it may be tempting to put those bulky blue drapes in the room to keep it dark when you are still sleeping, but try to find a happy medium.


Working with a small room is difficult but it is not impossible. The tips above should be able to get you started in the very least. Once you have been able to make a small space livable you start to feel like you can take on anything. And, as a parent, you most definitely can.

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Taking Care of You at the Holidays: 5 Simple Steps

Are you taking care of you this holiday season? It’s important to your family that you enjoy this season while you’re trying to make it special for them. I don’t know about you, but I can feel it already. That tug of war that happens each winter as the holidays approach. There are SO MANY […]

© 2015 Jessica Fisher, Life As Mom. All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Saving Money on LEGO

Lego do not come cheap these days. As your Lego maniacs curate their Christmas wishlists, consider these tips for saving money on the Lego bricks. This post does include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees. Your price does not change, […]

© 2015 Jessica Fisher, Life As Mom. All Rights Reserved.

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A Wee Taste of Scotland

A Wee Taste of Scotland | Life as MomWe spent about five days in Scotland, all told, and our day at Loch Lomond was stellar, despite fickle weather. Our wee taste of Scotland was superb! So, last I left you in my tale of our epic UK roadtrip, we had spent a few days in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. All told […]

© 2015 Jessica Fisher, Life As Mom. All Rights Reserved.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Maple Spiced Pepitas for Munching and Crunching

Whip up a batch of these maple spiced pepitas to serve at your next get-together. They make a great addition to the appetizer table or the salad bowl. Pear and Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Spiced Pepitas Years ago my mother-in-law served us these chipotle spiced almonds that were out of this world. I think I […]

© 2015 Jessica Fisher, Life As Mom. All Rights Reserved.

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