Alcohol and Substance Abuse - Edward A. Dreyfus, Ph.D.
Nora Volkow, MD, of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, says:
“Classically, people thought that drug addiction was a disease that involved the centers of pleasure – that people are taking the drug because it’s pleasurable. But that is not the case. In fact, addicted people don’t have as strong a pleasure response as people who are not addicted. Recent data are showing us that addiction entails a basic disruption of motivational circuits.”
Not only does drug abuse affect the emotional centers of the brain, but also recent research shows that drug abuse alters cognitive activities such as decision-making, planning, and memory. The evidence is clear that cocaine and marijuana use affect the frontal cortex, which is the center in the brain governing cognitive activity. Such disruption in the frontal cortex might be responsible for the poor decision-making. Recent research with a gambling task tested drug abuser’s making ability. Not surprisingly it was found that drug abusers made poorer decisions on the gambling task than participants in a control group.
The research is mounting that the long-term affects of drug abuse are much greater than most people believe. It is not just that these affects occur while actively using the drugs. Rather, these affects continue after drug use is discontinued. It takes a long time for most drugs to clear one’s system and there may be residual physical and psychological affects long after that.
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Edward A. Dreyfus, PH.D.
Dr. Dreyfus has been in private practice in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 40 years. Having written six books and been published extensively in industry publications, as well as expert quotes in Mens Fitness and Cosmo magazine Edward Dreyfus is seen as an authority source in his field. To benefit from Dr. Dreyfus expertise and gain the understanding and help you need to work through the challenges in your life, please contact Dr. Dreyfus at: (310) 208-5700 or e-mail him.