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Alcohol Addiction, Drug Addiction, Facts About Addiction, Substance Abuse  |  November 10, 2016

In a new research paper published by the National Institute of Alcohol and Drug Abuse – scientists attempt to explain how addicts’ brains might malfunction to create a susceptibility to addiction.

According to the authors of this latest study, addiction is tied to the interplay of three key factors: executive function, incentive motivation or salience, and negative emotions.

Let’s look at them one at a time:

·        Executive function: (also known as cognitive control and supervisory attentional system) is defined as “a set of cognitive processes – including attentional controlinhibitory controlworking memory, and cognitive flexibility, as well as reasoningproblem solving, and  planning – that are necessary for the cognitive control of behavior.”  Most human minds are capable of looking at a challenge/problem and sorting out best options from a number of often complex possibilities.   Those with addictions tend to struggle with long-term planning, inhibition and holding their attention to the matters at hand.

·        Incentive motivation or salience: Why do you stop at Dunkin Donuts in the morning and pick up that double glazed donut for your breakfast? The reason you do is tied to primitive parts the brain.  Train the brain to want something and it rapidly develops a craving.  Satisfy the craving and the brain releases a host of feel good chemicals, including dopamine.  People with addictions tend to have brains that over-reward the sating of a craving with the release of an unusually high level of feel good chemicals.

·       Negative emotions: People with addictions tend to experience a higher level of negativity. These negative feelings tend to make addicted people more susceptible to their cravings – with addictions providing temporary relief from their internal emotional wounds.

There is no question that many factors are in play when it comes to addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.  At Aware Recovery Care, we pride ourselves on having developed one of the most innovative and research centered addictions rehab models in America.  We work throughout Connecticut to treat the whole person over an extended period of time, in their home environment.  And as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield recently reported – our system of care works – producing rates of recovery more that 300% above the national average.

If you or someone you know is battling addiction to drugs and/or alcohol – contact us.  We are available 24/7 to help at www.awarerecoverycare.com

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