Science has come a long way in helping us understand how drugs of abuse change the brain.
Research has revealed that addiction affects the brain circuits involved in reward, motivation, memory, and inhibitory control. When these circuits are disrupted, so is a person’s capacity to freely choose not to use drugs, even when it means losing everything they used to value. In fact, the inability to stop is the essence of addiction, like riding in a car with no brakes.
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National Institute on Drug Abuse (July 1 2008). Science has come a long way in helping us understand how drugs of abuse change the brain.. In Addiction Science: From Molecules to Managed Care. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/addiction-science/what-addiction/science-has-come-long-way-in-helping-us-understand-how-drugs-abuse-change-brain