Memory suppression

A question from a reader:

How does the memory suppression relate to addiction? It seems to me like suppressing a memory might not be the best way to deal with it, please explain.

Two reasons.

First there’s a relationship between trauma and addiction. The relationship probably isn’t direct. Trauma may be more directly related to substance abuse. When substance abuse occurs in an immature brain it can increase risk for addiction through brain plasticity. Better strategies for addressing trauma could reduce substance abuse in trauma survivors and prevent the development of addiction in some cases.

Second, the brain’s memory circuits seem to play important roles in developing addictions and relapse. Learning more about how to limit the power of certain memories could lead to helpful relapse prevention strategies.