Nora Volkow, in the first two sentences of this post, provides more clarity than I think I've every seen on the matter of choice and the brain disease of addiction: Choices do not happen without a brain—it is the mechanism of choice. The quality of a person’s choices depends on the health of that mechanism. … Continue reading Addiction and Free Choice
From Kevin McCauley: The argument against calling addiction a disease centers on the nature of free will. This argument, which I will refer to as the Choice Argument, considers addiction to be a choice: the addict had the choice to start using drugs. Real diseases, on the other hand, are not choices: the diabetic did … Continue reading More on choice and addiction
Marc Lewis discusses an important role of endogenous opioids. Some very prominent emotion scientists have theorized that opioids (made inside our brains) are at the root of human attachment. Mother’s milk is rich with opioid molecules. In other words, nature found a surefire way to soothe the baby with its mother’s milk, using the same … Continue reading NA gives its members opioids?
In a thoughtful post, Marc Lewis questions the disease model of addiction. He doesn't dismiss it out of hand. He seems to look for ways in which it's right and useful. It’s accurate in some ways. It accounts for the neurobiology of addiction better than the “choice” model and other contenders. It explains the helplessness … Continue reading Response to Why Addiction is NOT a Brain Disease
From the Dawn Farm Education Series: Addiction 101 from Dawn Farm on Vimeo.
Another study on methadone's cognitive effects: In one study, on the day after the last exposure to methadone, there was a significant reduction (around 70 per cent) in the level of a signal molecule which is important in learning and memory, in both the hippocampus and in the frontal area of the brain. This … Continue reading Methadone’s cognitive effects
I've often wondered about all of AA's emphasis on resentment and whether research will end up provide an evidence-base for all the attention it receives in the steps, literature and discussion. I found this, from a recent episode of On Being, very interesting: Mr. McCullough: And if you look at the brain of somebody who has just … Continue reading Revenge and the reward system
Siddhartha Mukherjee provides a brief history of the serotonin hypothesis of depression, its demise and why dismissing serotonin may be an "overcorrection." Part of this story is an emerging theory of depression: A remarkable and novel theory for depression emerges from these studies. Perhaps some forms of depression occur when a stimulus — genetics, environment … Continue reading Emotional pain without context
This makes sense, but is a weird thing to think about. Drug addiction may be more difficult to kick if it became habitual while exercise if part of your routine: It does indicate that shedding an addiction acquired when a person has been exercising could be extra challenging, he says. “But, really, what … Continue reading How Exercise Can Prime the Brain for Addiction
Nora Volkow suggests that it is possible to acquire cocaine addiction from a combination of stress and exposure to cocaine: Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has shown in several brain-imaging studies that people addicted to such drugs as cocaine, heroin and alcohol have fewer dopamine receptors in the brain’s reward pathways than nonaddicts. … Continue reading Top Posts of 2011 #4 – Acquiring addiction?