Addiction can influence and alter the brain’s neurology

Addiction can influence and alter the brain’s neurology

The American Society of Addiction Medicine has recently released a definition of addictions which focuses on the brain’s circuitry. From their studies, they concluded that all kinds of addiction can influence and alter the brain’s neurology. Specifically, their research uncovered evidence that indicated changes in the brain’s reward system, motivation and memory circuitry. This caused the individual to pursue their addiction at a cost to their health and general self-care. This is demonstrated in the following ways:
1. Alterations to the Brain’s Reward System
Researchers noted that the memory of rewards associated with a substance or addictive behaviour (alcohol, food, sex, gambling and so on) was sufficient to trigger the addictive sequence – even where the addiction had lost its appeal and lead to negative, unwanted consequences.
2.Compromised Impulse Control
 Because addictions affect the frontal cortex of the brain, it alters our judgment and our impulse control. Thus, the person finds it hard to resist their powerful urges, and to think of the effect that this could have on their life. This finding is consistent with the symptoms of addictions which include the following characteristics and traits: being unable to abstain from the addiction, and delay gratifying their need or drive; intense cravings for the drug/ behaviour of choice; a failure to recognise the impact this is having on the person, their relationships, their work and their life.
Addiction can influence and alter the brain’s neurology
Addiction can influence and alter the brain’s neurology
3.Cognitive and Emotional Changes 
Symptoms here include a growing obsession so the substance or behaviour now consumes their thinking; a distorted understanding of the pros and cons that are associated with engaging in addictions; also, intense, negative and fluctuating emotions which are hard to control and are unpredictable.
This has implications for diagnosis well. For example, instead of focusing on outward behaviours, which are noted and measured using standard questionnaires, it would seem more productive to look inside the brain in order to determine if it’s truly an addiction. This should yield more reliable and detailed information – and give information on disease progression.
With respect to treatment, it may make it easier to interrupt a pattern by consciously altering what’s happening in the brain. However, the underlying causes that led to the addiction should still be explored and addressed in counselling.
Resource : http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/alcohol%20addiction



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Posted by Hary Indrianto, Published at 02.16 and have 0 komentar

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