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

Drink misuse ‘costs each Scot GBP900’

The impact of Scotland’s drink culture on the health service was laid bare yesterday when it emerged that the cost of treating only one person with a moderately severe alcohol-related head injury is more than £34,000. The extraordinary figure was released by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland’s biggest health board. The sum covers only….

Continue reading

On Russians' drinking habits

A SuperJob.ru survey says most Russians believe alcohol abuse is their most negative character trait(!). 22% of 1800 respondents believe it is so, while 20% claim Russians’ curse is their laziness. Boozing has become something of a national character trait in Russia. Although statistics shows that alcohol consumption has been annually reducing in Russia, stories….

Continue reading

Program is in the works to keep teens away from alcohol

Tarrant County mental health professionals and advocates are drafting a pilot program aimed at treating teens who are slipping into alcoholism. The proposed High School Alcohol Diversion Program, modeled after college programs, would allow teens with alcohol violations to stay at their schools instead of being sent to alternative schools. That would help prevent them….

Continue reading

Different therapies for treating children with ADHD

Several intervention approaches need to be practiced while treating ADHD in children. Apart form medication; there are different therapies for treating children with ADHD, which can be practiced for complete curing. The other therapies involve psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, social skills training and parenting skills training. The psychotherapy helps the people or children with ADHD to….

Continue reading