The Neurobiology of Free Will and Drug Addiction

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Sheila, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    “We’ve come to recognize the different systems that are involved,” she said. “We can target therapeutic interventions. We know that they are less sensitive to natural reinforcers. Natural reinforcers can be social reinforcers; those are some of the most powerful that we have as human beings. Can we strengthen the effects of nondrug reinforcers? We can do that with psychotherapeutic interventions and with medications. Can we strengthen inhibitory control? We can do that with psychotherapeutic interventions.”

    A number of medications are currently being investigated regarding their ability to improve executive function in addicted individuals. “We know, for example, that modafinil can improve executive function,” said Dr. Volkow. “So would that help our patients who are addicted exert better control over their actions? Can this lead to a strengthening of the prefrontal-striatal communication, such that even though you may have this ability, you can strengthen it?... Can you interfere with conditioned memories [associated with] craving—by medications or, again, with therapeutic intervention? Finally, we’ve come to realize that stress is extraordinarily important in the patterns of drug taking. Not only does it increase the likelihood of experimenting with drugs, of taking high doses of drugs, but it also leads to relapse. So can we develop strategies to [reduce] the stressful responses? With that search, of course, we can help our patients stop taking drugs.”

    Thank you Sheila, I have never heard of the drug "Modafinil" before. I think I should look into this for my older difficult child as he re-enters society soon. He just got out of Prison Rehab and is now living in a halfway house. He is a Meth Addict.

  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Fantastic article. Thanks Sheila.