A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Impulsivity Linked to Cocaine Addiction

Call it the chicken-and-egg debate of the addiction world: Cocaine addicts are known for being frenetic, but which came first, the behavior or the habit? New research indicates that, at least in rats, it’s the behavior that begets addiction. What’s more, the study has pinpointed the character trait–impulsiveness–that is responsible for developing true drug dependence. Experts believe that the findings may lead to new approaches for treating addiction.

Scientists who study drug addiction have a common problem: The individuals they deal with are already addicted, so it’s hard to tell what, if any, behaviors led to the initial dependence. What they do know is that two traits–impulsiveness and thrill-seeking–tend to define most drug addicts. Although the behaviors are similar, scientists have been able to parse them in the lab: Highly impulsive rats jump the gun on simple tasks–pushing a button, for example, before they are signaled to do so; thrill-seeking rats, meanwhile, will rapidly explore any new environment–immediately sniffing various objects in a new cage, for example–whereas normal rats would wait until they felt comfortable in their surroundings.

In hopes of discovering if either of these two traits might be a catalyst for drug addiction, psychologists David Belin and Barry Everitt, both of the University of Cambridge in the U.K., hooked up the sensation-seeking rats and the impulsive rats to a device that dispensed cocaine directly into the rats’ brains. The rats could control the dispenser, so they could take the cocaine whenever they wanted. As the team reports in today’s issue of Science, the thrill seekers tried the cocaine immediately, taking it in sky-high doses. The impulsive rats weren’t as quick to turn to the drug, however, and when they did, they took it in smaller amounts.

After 40 days of free access to cocaine, however, the impulsive rats were the ones who became the addicts. They were unable to stop taking cocaine even when it meant getting an electric shock, the team reports. The thrill seekers, meanwhile, had lost interest in the drug; apparently, the thrill was gone.

“This study … shows that there is a biological bridge, at least in the rat,” between impulsive behavior and drug addiction, says David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Bristol in the U.K. Marc Potenza, a psychiatrist at Yale University, believes that the research has important implications for treating drug dependence. “We might be able to identify individuals at early times in their lives that may be prone to developing addiction,” he says. Everitt agrees, noting that anti-impulsivity medication, such as some antidepressants, may be the key to helping people stay away from cocaine for good. “This has opened a surprising therapeutic window,” he says.
_________
source: http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Extreme Drinking

Spring means a lot of things to thousands of students. For many high school and college students it means travel and extreme drinking. You don’t have to go far to see pictures of hard-partying teens and young adults on the internet. For them, binge drinking has become a dangerous badge of honor. But it comes….

Continue reading

Aversion Therapy for Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Aversion therapy is a type of therapy that teaches an alcoholic to associate some type of negative outcome with getting drunk. Aversion therapy is a way of conditioning the recovering alcoholic to not like alcohol because of the negative effects that alcohol has on them thus breaking the cycle of addiction. Aversion therapy can be….

Continue reading

Diagnosis of ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is termed as ADHD. This disorder is commonly seen in small children. The children suffering from ADHD disorder are very impulsive, hyperactive and find it difficult to concentrate. Since, this kind of behavior is common in small children; it becomes difficult to differentiate between normal behavior and ADHD disorder. Therefore, it….

Continue reading

Younger Alcoholic Men at Risk for Osteoporosis

Low bone mass, or osteoporosis, is a known consequence of alcoholism, especially in older alcoholics. However, a new study shows that younger male alcoholics are also at increased risk for osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis, no matter what the cause, are at an increased risk for fractures and poor fracture healing. “Our study indicates malnutrition, little….

Continue reading

Tips for staying sober on New Years

New Year’s Eve celebrations can be synonymous with alcohol-fueled excess, or at least a champagne toast. But for those struggling with alcoholism, it’s a high-risk situation. Bradford Health Services Addiction Treatment administrator Timothy Robinson and community representative Amanda Lewis suggest techniques for staying sober and socially comfortable at a party where alcohol is served. HOW….

Continue reading