Ohio State Researcher Explains Your Brain on Drugs

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As reported by the The Columbus Dispatch in the article Ohio State Psychiatrist Says Drug Addicts Are No Longer the People You Love (10/27), a recent study has shown that drug addiction may be powerful enough to trump anything else—even survival. The experiment, conducted at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, focused on rats who served as “addicts.” The rats were prompted to tap a bar that sent a pleasurable signal to their brain and at one point, the rats had to cross an electrical grid to tap the bar. Every time, the rats stopped at nothing to access the bar. They did not even eat or sleep. Ultimately, each rat continued to feed its addiction until it could not live any longer. According to Dr. Brand Lander, a clinical director of addiction psychiatry, the principle of the experiment is the same despite whether an addiction is affecting rats or people—that addiction is deadly. He believes that this experiment sheds light on why it is not as easy enough for someone to ask an addict to just stop.

In his presentation of the experiment, Lander explained how addiction affects the brain, essentially making chemical changes that an addict is no longer a loved one. He notes that the part of the problem may be in those who show frustration at addicts. He further explained how the human memory works—short term memory gets converted into long term memory in the sleep—but since most addicts have sleeping issues, they do not remember when they get high. Despite the fact that the brain can improve after an addict stops using, cognitive issues will still be present. In closing, Lander noted that recovery is possible but a long path that will require attention to an addict's physical and mental condition.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2014/10/26/01-mind-control.html

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