The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine (FT Press Science)

The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine (FT Press Science)

Michael Kuhar

Language: English

Pages: 150

ISBN: 0134288580

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Addiction destroys lives. In The Addicted Brain, leading neuroscientist Michael Kuhar, Ph.D., explains how and why this happens–and presents advances in drug addiction treatment and prevention. Using breathtaking brain imagery and other research, Kuhar shows the powerful, long-term brain changes that drugs can cause, revealing why it can be so difficult for addicts to escape their grip.
Discover why some people are far more susceptible to addiction than others as the author illuminates striking neural similarities between drugs and other pleasures potentially capable of causing abuse or addiction–including alcohol, gambling, sex, caffeine, and even Internet overuse. Kuhar concludes by outlining the 12 characteristics most often associated with successful drug addiction treatment.

Authoritative and easy to understand, The Addicted Brain offers today’s most up-to-date scientific explanation of addiction–and what addicts, their families, and society can do about it.

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at the receptors and to increase signaling. The brain can’t control this problem, because it does not have a way to remove cocaine. (Reprinted from Trends in Neurosciences, Vol. 14, M.J. Kuhar, M.C. Ritz, and J.W. Boja, “The dopamine hypothesis of the reinforcing properties of cocaine,” pp. 299-302, Copyright [1991], with permission from Elsevier.) Figure 4-5. Cocaine blocks the dopamine transporter and extracellular levels of dopamine in the brain increase sharply. The horizontal-axis shows

model of DNA. Epigenetic modification includes two main mechanisms. One is methylating the DNA, which changes its ability to make protein, and the other is modifying the histones, which change the way DNA is accessed and translated into protein. Both procedures can be affected by drugs. (From http://www.lexic.us/definition-of/epigenetic, accessed on January 15, 2001.) In any case, mechanisms aside, it is clear that drug taking can influence the biochemical makeup of the brain. This is the

million people smoke, and an even larger number take alcohol regularly. The relatively larger use of alcohol and nicotine are probably due to the legality of these drugs and their greater availability. Legal drugs are used probably ten times more than illicit ones. (Source: SAMSHA, 2008, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2009). It is useful and can eliminate confusion to make a distinction between the words drugs and medications. The word drug is used in this book to refer to a

2002; Ignjatova, L. and M. Raleva. “Gender Difference in the Treatment Outcome of Patients Served in the Mixed-Gender Program.” Bratisl Lek List, 110(5): 285–289, 2009; Narayanan, S., J.O. Ebbert, and A. Sood. “Gender Differences in Self-Reported Use, Perceived Efficacy, and Interest in Future Use of Nicotine-Dependence Treatments: A Cross-Sectional Survey in Adults at a Tertiary Care Center for Nicotine Dependence.” Gend Med, 6(2): 362–368, 2009; Ambrose-Lanci, L.M., R.C. Sterling, and E.J. Van

that RTI-336 and cocaine are similar in some ways and different in others. The similarity of the two is why RTI-336 acts like cocaine and can be a substitute medication for the drug. The differences, however, are key. RTI-336 is more specific and selective acting than cocaine, gets into the brain more slowly, and seems to lack prohibitive toxicity. The compound was synthesized by Dr. Ivy Carroll and colleagues at the Research Triangle Institute (RTI). (The drawing was provided by Dr. Ivy

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