A drug currently approved to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may play a role in the treatment of alcoholism. The drug is called aripiprazole (Abilify); researchers say more research is needed, but this first study found the drug helps lessen the euphoric effects of alcohol. Aripiprazole is a dopamine partial agonist, so it works differently….
It’s challenging for some to understand why addiction affects one individual and not the next. In fact, even doctors and treatment professionals are sometimes at a loss of words when it comes to explaining the science behind addiction and what it is that makes some people become addicted to drugs or alcohol while others steer clear of the problem. Scientific advances have helped doctors, treatment professionals and others to better understand the science behind addiction and continued research embarks on the consistent journey to discover more about what it is that causes addiction and addictive behaviors.
People of all ages suffer the harmful consequences of drug abuse and addiction.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA, estimates that the total cost of addiction to drugs, alcohol, nicotine and illegal substances is upwards of half a trillion dollars each year in America alone. This includes the impact that drug abuse and addiction has on the economy, the criminal implications that arise from addiction, the medical needs that result and the overall social impact of addiction. More than half a million people die as a result of addiction related causes each year in the United States.
The Science Behind Addiction
There are a number of ways that science has helped to provide solutions for those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Scientists study the ways that drugs, alcohol and other substances affect the brain and how these chances impact human behavior. The information that is gained helps in making better judgment calls when it comes to addiction treatment and also when it comes to finding new methods of helping people to effectively recover.
Addiction is a chronic disease that is characterized by changes in the brain which result in a compulsive desire to use a drug. Through science, it has been determined that an individual’s risk of becoming addicted can be influenced by a number of factors including both genetics and environmental influence. Addiction science focuses on taking a closer look at how all of these factors, everything from biology to the environment to family, influence people to used drugs or alcohol and to potentially become addicted.