Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Addictions Really Affect The Brain

There was an article published in July’s Time magazine about the impact of addiction on the brain. Researchers discovered that the brain of an addict, whether drugs or alcohol, has no activity in the front part of the brain where we plan, do abstract thinking and regulate our impulsive behaviors.

The parts of the brain that showed activity were related to having uncontrollable cravings. This means that addicts might be less adept at using the rationale mind to resist their addiction. The researchers found that it took about 90 days for the front part of the brain even to begin firing again, allowing the person to begin resisting their addiction.

This concept of a 90-day rehabilitation model goes along with what Alcoholics Anonymous recommends for a new member. It is also the duration of a typical stint at a drug treatment program. To me, this means the longer a person refrains from his or her addictions, the more the brain comes on-line to assist in being able to further resist the addictions.

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