Brains of Addicts Are Inherently Abnormal

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posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:41 PM
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Drug addicts have inherited abnormalities in some parts of the brain which interfere with impulse control, said a British study published in the United States on Thursday.

Previous research has pointed to these differences, but it was unclear if they resulted from the ravages of addiction or if they were there beforehand to predispose a person to drug abuse.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge compared the brains of addicts to their non-addicted siblings as well as to healthy, unrelated volunteers and found that the siblings shared many of the same weaknesses in their brains.

That indicates that the brain vulnerabilities had a family origin, though somehow the siblings of addicts -- either due to environmental factors or other differences in brain structure -- were able to resist addiction.

"Presumably, the siblings must have some other resilience factors that counteract the familial vulnerability to drug dependence," said the study led by Karen Ersche of the University of Cambridge, published in the journal Science.

"An individual's predisposition to become addicted to stimulant drugs may be mediated by brain abnormalities linked to impaired self-control."


Well hopefully this stops the whole 'it's your choice to use drugs'. While in some cases that maybe but an addict is not someone who should be frowned upon but someone that should be looked upon with empathy.

They should not be treated as outcasts of society, they should be treated as ill people.

I try to explain to people all the time that heavier drugs will actually change brain chemistry and people fight me. While some people have the 'choice' to get addicted the first time, some people do not.

This is a big issue because drugs are illegal and not regulated so in turn we get drugs with unknown chemicals in them. If only we could control the sale and chemicals included in drugs...

Any thoughts?

Pred...




posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:49 PM
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I think they still don't know. The proof for me is that they call it a brain abnormality. I don't doubt that the addicts brain is different, but I wouldn't call it an abnormality.

Like homosexuality is a brain abnormality



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:50 PM
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Interesting! I think scientific study of addiction is just beginning to become more advanced due to improved brain imagine technology, ect. However, it has always been known among the AA/NA community that addicts and not like "normal" people. In the preface to the AA handbook known as the "Big Book," Dr. Bob concludes that alcoholics have what he refers to as an "allergy" to alcohol. This logic proves sound, if someone who has an allergy to peanuts has a negative reaction when he is in contact or inject peanuts, than someone who is an alcoholics has an adverse reaction to alcohol.

The sibling research is interesting. I believe there is a genetic pre-disposition to addiction, however there are some people who are genetically predisposed who never become addicts because of life-long abstinence. Alcoholics and addicts are also much more likely to be what Psychologists call "Type A" personalities.

There are many avenues to help recovering addicts, nobody needs to be active in that sort of destructive lifestyle. However, you cannot be blamed for being genetically predisposed to addictive behavior.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 





Previous research has pointed to these differences, but it was unclear if they resulted from the ravages of addiction or if they were there beforehand to predispose a person to drug abuse.


That was my first thought, how do they know that the abuse didn't cause the abnormalities, so if they don't know, the study proves nothing.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Have you ever read the Dr.'s opinion in the AA book? Its spot on for those who actually experience addiction.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by MarlboroRedCowgirl
 


Dr. Silkwoth actually..



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:57 PM
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Drug abuse can cause short term brain abnormalities, however I have never heard of a case where drug abuse alone caused a complete re-wiring to think and act a certain way.

Neurogenesis is the process by which the brain re-grows brain cells that have been damaged. When an addict comes to recovery and abstains from use any damaged cells will eventually regenerate.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:58 PM
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I also believe there is a genetic pre-disposition to addiction but there are more thing you can get addicted to than illegal drugs. Most drugs give you a release of endorphins or dopamine both of which are natural chemical in our bodies. Both of these chemical can be stimulated by doing other activities but illegal drugs are just an easy choice.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by type0civ
 

Thanks for the correction!



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by PhoenixOD
 


A very good point. The phenomena known as "Runner's High" is an example. There is no outside substance put into the body but an athlete will feel a shift in consciousness when pushing his/her body to the peak of physical output.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by MarlboroRedCowgirl

The sibling research is interesting. I believe there is a genetic pre-disposition to addiction, however there are some people who are genetically predisposed who never become addicts because of life-long abstinence. Alcoholics and addicts are also much more likely to be what Psychologists call "Type A" personalities.

There are many avenues to help recovering addicts, nobody needs to be active in that sort of destructive lifestyle. However, you cannot be blamed for being genetically predisposed to addictive behavior.


You could not have put it better! I myself am a recovery addict and became addicted to opiates after a back injury. I had always suffered from anxiety and depression with very little success using depression meds. When I first took Vicodin, it instantly relieved my depression and honestly felt like the void in my life was finally filled. It was "the key that finally fit". Within short order my tolerance went through the roof and my addiction spun out of control until I was taking 400mgs of oxycontin a day just to relieve my withdrawal symptoms.

Interestingly enough, a brother of mine whom I had never even met suffered the same fate. When we talked his description of his addiction was identical to mine. Fortunately we are both clean now but the battle rages on and I can never let my guard down.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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Originally posted by satron
I think they still don't know. The proof for me is that they call it a brain abnormality. I don't doubt that the addicts brain is different, but I wouldn't call it an abnormality.

Like homosexuality is a brain abnormality


Not really, the same synapses still fire when they see someone they are attracted to, man or woman.

What your saying would mean our brains are different whether our favorite is Coke or Pepsi, not really accurate.

Pred...



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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reply to post by MarlboroRedCowgirl
 


Seems to me you need to break open that big book again.

And I don't buy the genetic predisposition theory either. I know lots of addicts who are the first and only in their family.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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Well I know certain drug use does alter the body. For example, extended opiate use causes the body to produce more opiate receptors. This is what causes what is known as "chasing the dragon". In the beginning of use, you will get the high, euphoric effect. After a while your body adjusts to the amount of opiates in your system. It starts to take more and more and more to get the "high". After a long amount of use, you become literally "dope sick" and you just use to avoid feeling like death itself.

I know this because I myself am a recovering opiate addict. I abused pain killers for many years. And it has been a hell of a struggle to come out of the fog. Thankfully I am almost a year clean. I thankfully never got pulled further down the road. No heroin use or anything like that. But being addicted to pain medications made me realize how many other addictions I have. Smoking, video games... even lying. Your mind honestly DOES become accustom to doing certain things and almost expects you to do it. So in some way it must be a re-wiring going on.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by BLKMJK
 


Thanks, I identify with your testimony. This article struck home for me as well, as I am in recovery and have a sibling who is active in her addiction. That's why I didn't need to be convinced on the truth behind this article, I live it.'

A great example of how this information is misread and misunderstood: my husband and I are both in recovery for addiction. My mother-in-law told me I should never have children because they would be born with "that gene." As if we were one-hundred percent going to have a child grow up to be an addict/alchohalic.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:04 PM
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Brains of Addicts Are Inherently Abnormal


Who's calling me abnormal?

Did I mention,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, who's calling me abnormal?

Lj01 history is riddled with acohol abuse...........I am not ashamed, well kind of, I feel bad for wasting so much time...............my abnormalcy(if that is a word) will just have to be a part of me............

My brain operates at a different wave length than everybody else's........... I think



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by BLKMJK
 


Are you in relapse my friend!?!? Your mood says"comfortably numb"



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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I also dont believe all addicts have a genetic predisposition i just think its possible to have one.



posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:09 PM
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reply to post by DerekJR321
 


That is true, as do canabanoid receptors with prolonged marijuana use. However, this "damage" is by no means permanent. With prolonged abstinence I can't imagine opiate receptors desiring the same level of opium. That's why heroin and synthetic opiods are so difficult to innialy "kick."

All I am saying is that drug use does not cause permanant brain damage if and only if the addict comes to sobriety. If your argument is true, where did the desire to use drugs that are well known to be harmful come from in the first place?





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