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Addiction (cont.)

Common Characteristics of People with Addictions

  • People with addictions have the opportunity to obtain the substance or to engage in the activity that will addict them, and they have a risk of relapse no matter how successful their treatment is.
  • People with addictions tend to be risk takers and thrill seekers; the changes in brain circuitry lead drug abusers to expect a positive reaction to their addictive substance or activity before they use it or experience it.
  • Self-regulation and impulse control around the person's drug of choice are difficult for people with addictions. However, often these same people retain impulse control in most or all other areas of their life. This is more true with drugs like alcohol and less true with drugs like methamphetamine. Again, this difference is thought to be related to how stimulating the drug is to the reward circuits (dopamine tracts) in the brain. Methamphetamine is much more rewarding to the brain than alcohol.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2015
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