Tag: dopamine

  • Loss, but not absence, of control – How choice and addiction are related

    In a recent post the notion that “loss of control” is an addiction myth was raised by our contributing author, Christopher Russell, a thoughtful graduate student studying substance abuse in the U.K. Though I obviously personally believe in control- and choice-relevant neurological mechanisms playing a part in addiction, this conversation is a common one both […]

  • A new candidate for ADHD medication: Amantadine and the rise of non-stimulants

    It is well known that ADHD diagnoses and substance abuse problems are closely associated. It is estimated that substance abuse problems including dependence are up to twice as common among individuals with ADHD, which is not surprising given the impulsivity factor involved in ADHD. The problem is that until recently, most medications for ADHD have belonged […]

  • Is marijuana addictive? You can bet your heroin on that!

    “Is marijuana addictive?” seems to be the ultimate question for many people. In fact, when discussing addiction, it is rare that the addiction potential for marijuana doesn’t come up. Some basic points about marijuana: The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain (CB1 and CB2). Since it is a partial […]

  • Physical addiction or psychological addiction – Is there a real difference?

    This is another one of the basic questions I get regarding addiction. It seems that people think about physical addiction and psychological addiction as somehow separate processes. I think this distinction makes no sense. Even if people really meant what they were saying, the brain is undoubtedly part of the body, and therefore, psychological addictions […]

  • Addiction-brain effects – Tolerance, sensitization, and withdrawal

    If you’ve been with us for any length of time, you’ve already read about the addiction-brain effects for specific drugs. I think it’s important to understand some of the more general changes that occur in the addicted brain regardless of the specific drugs used. One of the most common effects of long term drug use […]

  • Addicts’ brains depressed but normal users… normal.

    A paper that’s about to be published in the journal Science has found at least part of the difference between the brains of addicted individuals and those that use recreationally. The question as to why only some people get addicted to drugs has been a difficult one to answer. Still, there’s no doubt that only […]

  • Obesity, drug addiction, and dopamine

    Eating junk-food can be addictive, and apparently, it causes brain changes that look eerily similar to drug addiction. That’s the message not only from the rapidly fattening waistlines of Americans everywhere, but also from the Johnson and Kenny labs at the Scripps Institute. Food and drug addiction The idea that obesity is caused by a […]

  • About Addiction: Your brain, smoking, alcohol and drugs

    Some new, different areas of addiction and some old favorites.  Read on to learn more! Check out this USA Today story about President Obama’s public health fight and goals of reducing drug usage.  He said prevention and education are really what we need. Your Brain and Addiction Science Daily: A genetic variant of a receptor […]

  • Gambling it all away? The connection between gambling and drug addiction

    Screaming in the last 10 seconds of a football game, the score is neck and neck, and your team has the ball on the 20 yard line. Needless to say your heart is beating like crazy in anticipation to see the outcome. Would it be beating any harder if you had money riding on the […]

  • Crystal meth withdrawal – It’s not like heroin, but don’t expect it to be easy

    Heroin, or opiate, withdrawal symptoms is the gold standard of addiction withdrawal. Imagine the worst flu of your life, multiply it by 1000, and then imagine knowing that taking a hit of this stuff will make it all better. Think sweats, fever, shaking, diarrhea, and vomiting. Think excruciating pain throughout as your pain sensors get […]