If you’ve ever drank or used drugs alongside your friends, only to fall into a spiral of addiction that they escaped, you may have found yourself wondering: Why am I an alcoholic, but they can still drink? Why am I an addict, and they can just party on the weekends? It’s not because some people have better willpower than others. Addiction is a brain disease. Just like diabetes and other diseases, some people have it and some don’t. Now, a new study has found more proof.
Researchers at the Korea Brain Institute announced the results of their latest study on cocaine addiction and the brain on May 26. Their findings were published in Brain Psychiatry, one of the most respected journals of brain science.
According to the article, the researchers found that some mice were more susceptible to cocaine addiction than others. Yes, they hooked the mice up with cocaine dispensers that they could hit up whenever they liked. Some mice partook sparingly, while others went crazy on the device, ignoring food, water, and other needs for the next hit. (Sound familiar?)
Researchers discovered that the mice that were more susceptible to addiction had different brains from the other mice. Specifically, their dopamine receptors (the part of the brain that makes you feel good) were much more active in particular nerve cells in the brain. In addition, they found that those differences were genetic, meaning they could be passed on from parents to their children, etc.
Of course, you aren’t a mouse. But mice and humans have very similar brains, in terms of architecture and cell types. Scientists regularly test psychiatric drugs on mice to see how they will affect humans.
More research is needed, but this study could shed more light on why some people are alcoholics and addicts, and others aren’t. Basically, our brains are different, and it’s at least in part due to a genetic component that we were born with.
Alcoholism and drug addiction are a brain disease. Like any other disease, there is a cure, and you can get it if you enter treatment. Start with detox to get your vitals normalized, and then you can start a program of recovery in residential treatment from there.
If you have a substance use disorder, you don’t have to be ashamed. It’s not your fault. Once you know that there’s help out there, though, it is your fault if you keep doing the same thing and don’t try to stop it. If you knew someone with cancer, wouldn’t you want them to get treatment? Addiction is treatable.
To learn more, contact our awesome team today.
Getting Clean & Sober at Home
Today, more than 75% of hospitals and healthcare providers offer access to telehealth treatment, with 29 states having gone so far as to enact telehealth parity laws, which force insurance companies to reimburse patients for telehealth at the same rates as they would for in-person treatment.
If you’ve been thinking about getting clean and sober, or if you’ve been wanting to work on and strengthen the recovery you already have, it’s never been easier to do it through telehealth.