Breaking News: Scientists Discover New Pathways In Brain Preventing Self-Control In Addicts

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New Pathways In Brain Preventing Self-Control In AddictsThere long has been debate over the topic of self-control when it comes to addiction. Many theories have been tossed around. However, in a recent study led by the University of Cambridge, it was found that the cocaine-addicted brain may not be able to control impulses because of a recently discovered ‘back door’ into the brain that produces compulsive thoughts caused by drug use.

Cocaine is notoriously difficult to quit with high rates of relapse. In those who do relapse, four in 10 do so because they have a craving for the drug. For the others, the reasons were previously not totally clear.

Shocking Results In Study On Self-Control In Addicts

What the researchers discovered was that over time, drug use becomes something beyond the control of an addict. In lab rats, a portion of their brain, which plays an important role in goal-directed behavior changed with ongoing drug use. Over time, another part of the brain became impacted which affects habitual behavior. At this point, the lab rats lost control and were merely responding automatically.

In other words, a previously unknown pathway within the brain that links impulse with habits has been discovered.

This finding contradicts the belief of many that addiction is only a result of a lack of self-control. Rather, there is a change in a portion of the brain that does not necessarily respond to cognitive behavioral therapy and other commonly used treatments.

The Use Of Drugs To Prevent Relapse

The Use Of Drugs To Prevent RelapseIn another study published by Biological Psychiatry, N-acetylcysteine, a drug used to treat paracetamol overdose, was shown to decrease lab rats’ desire to continue cocaine use. This finding may eventually lead to more studies and research being conducted on drugs that can potentially help individuals who are struggling with drug addiction and relapse.

One of the key indicators that someone has an addiction is that they will continue the use of a substance even when there are negative consequences. This indicates that more is going on than just a lack of self-control. With these new findings, there may eventually be new treatment protocols that can increase the chance of life-long recovery without relapse.

Want to read more about addiction news and treatment discoveries? Click here to read about a new discovery that could lead to relief for heroin cravings.

Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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