“The Physiology of Addiction” was presented on June 24, 2014 by Dr. Carl Christensen, MD, PhD, FACOG, FASAM; and Dr. Emily Brunner, MD. Addiction is a chronic brain disease involving complex physiologic processes. Inherent physiologic characteristics influence how individuals response to substances and individual vulnerability to addiction. The physiology of the brain and body is altered by use of alcohol and other drugs and also changes when a person enters into recovery. This program will explore the differences in neurochemistry between the addicted brain and the normal brain, the progression of physiological changes that occur in chemically dependent individuals, the mechanisms of physiologic tolerance and withdrawal, medical complications of alcohol/other drug addiction and the effects of treatment. This presentation is part of the Dawn Farm Education Series, a FREE, annual workshop series developed to provide accurate, helpful, hopeful, practical, current information about chemical dependency, recovery, family and related issues. The Education Series is organized by Dawn Farm, a non-profit community of programs providing a continuum of chemical dependency services. For information, please see dawnfarm.org/programs/education-series.
About the presenters:
Dr. Carl Christensen is a Clinical Associate Professor at the WSU School of Medicine. He obtained his MD and Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Wayne State University School of Medicine and did his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hutzel Hospital. He then completed a Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Duke University Medical Center. He was Associate Residency Director of the OB Gyn Residency until 2012. Dr. Christensen is board-certified in Addiction Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is the past president of the Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine and the current Medical Director of the Michigan Health Professional Recovery Program, which monitors impaired nurses, pharmacists and doctors. He is the current Medical Director of the James Wardell Women’s Recovery Center, an outpatient program dedicated to caring for pregnant, chemically dependent women, as well as the Medical Director at the Tolan Medical Research Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at WSU. He is also the Medical Director for Dawn Farm. Dr Christensen specializes in the treatment of addiction and chronic pain, especially pelvic pain. He has received numerous teaching awards. He has been named one of the “Top Docs” in Addiction Medicine in Hour Magazine for 2006 through 2013. He lives in Superior Township with his wife Cathy, a Nurse Practitioner also specializing in chronic pain and addiction, and their 3 dogs and multiple rescue cats.
Emily Brunner, MD.
Dr. Emily Brunner has practiced with Packard Health System since October 2012, specializing in primary care as well as treating patients with addiction problems. Dr. Brunner received her Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her MD from the University of Michigan. Her family medicine residency was completed at the University of Michigan Hospital. She is Board Certified in Family Medicine and a member of the American Society of Family Medicine and the American Academy of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Brunner is also the Medical Director of the detoxification program at the Home of New Vision.