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addiction treatment, research study

Do the study results from a new research study show that addiction is for life? The answer is not quite that clear cut, and the study uses neural activity before and after addiction treatment to determine why some individuals never stop their substance abuse even when the consequences are deadly. Anyone involved in substance abuse programs and addiction treatment facilities understand just how hard it can be to break certain addictions. The new study shows that recovery can be a lifelong process. Biological Psychiatry is the journal where the study results are published. The editor of this journal is Dr. John Krystal, and when asked about the study results he is credited as saying “The knowledge that some neural changes associated with addiction persist despite long periods of abstinence is important because it supports clinical wisdom that recovery from addiction is a lifelong process.”


Addiction treatment is very important, and there is no quick fix for substance abuse. During the study there were 3 groups used. One of the groups had no substance abuse issues at all, another group involved individuals with current substance abuse, and the third group involved patients who were in recovery after experiencing addiction. Even after the substance abuse was abstained from for a long period of time the reward center of the brain did not revert back to the previous function. Once the addiction changed the neural pathways and reward center of the brain these areas did not go back to normal once the substance abuse was stopped.