Studies over the last few years have brought to light new information as to how certain people become addicted to substances when others don’t. These new studies, have been able to show the precise changes in the chemistry of the brain that occur which have links with drug addiction (and indeed all kinds of other addictions such as alcohol, gambling and sex addiction ). Previous studies were not able to reach any kind of conclusion about the possibility that people are actually predisposed to being addicted, rather than becoming addicted for other reasons. These newer studies have shown that changes to parts of the brain happen before the user begins using drugs and that those areas related to addiction have less dopamine receptors.
Over the last ten years addiction scientists have shown that the rules of treating addiction are set to change. Firstly they have proven that the currently low 20% rate of successful treatment of addiction can be doubled immediately to 40% just by keeping treatment permanently ongoing (such as they do at AA when they keep going to meetings for years after giving up). Using all kinds of new and exciting technology such as MRI machines and PET scanners addiction specialists have been able to work out exactly what breaks down in the break to cause addiction – in other words to focus on those neuro-transmitter chemicals that are unbalanced and the regions of the brain causing the problems. They are then in turn able to develop a better roadmap as to how addiction affects the brain and how it takes hold of your memory and decision processes, through the exploitation of emotion. Then, using this information the scientists are able to create a whole new breed of targeted drugs which have been designed to limit, if not stop completely, the cravings that cause addicts to relapse back into their addiction.