- Breaking the chain of addiction is by no means easy. Someone cannot cure their addiction purely by willpower, addiction is based on a skewed brain function; beating addiction is not because someone is flawed. It’s also not something that happens overnight. The way addiction works is it tricks the brain’s reward system into thinking that the substance contributes to sensation. The fake sense of pleasure occurs when dopamine is released into the nucleus of the nerve cells. There are researchers looking for ways to combat this reaction. For example, they are exploring a compound called naltrexone which reverses the pleasurable effect of narcotics such as heroin. The FDA is releasing more drugs to help combat addiction. Some of these are acamprosate, topiramate, and ondansetron.
Addiction can stem from multiple sources, one of the largest being heredity. It can make some of us more addiction-prone than others. People with family history with alcoholism are more likely to develop an addiction to different types of alcohol. We all metabolize different substances at different rates and their effects might appear different to every person. People with different genetics affects their response to threats of different types of addiction. However, people with similar genetics also have similar reactions to anti-craving drugs that the FDA is developing. Depending on different genes, doctors are trying to figure out which medication is best for each individual. However, we are a long way from finding a medication that will make breaking addiction easy. It requires a long process of different treatments and therapy. There was a study conducted called “COMBINE” (Combining Medications and Behavioral Interventions) that provides very good evidence for the perfect amount of medication and therapy sessions to create a perfect plan to overcome addiction.
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