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Study: How does "the love hormone" affect vulnerability to addiction?

Study: How does "the love hormone" affect vulnerability to addiction? | Addiction Industry News | Scoop.it
"Highlights:

Individual differences exist in the endogenous oxytocin system.

 

These differences can arise from individual and environmental factors.

 

Oxytocin can (in)directly influence biological systems involved in addiction.

 

Differences in endogenous oxytocin system may affect susceptibility to addiction."


Via Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, March 20, 2014 9:43 AM


The current issue of Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior (April 2014) reviews  the current state of research linking oxytocin (sometimes called the "love hormone") and addiction. It contains a lengthy but fascinating exploration of the idea that  individual differences in endogenous oxytocin may be an important factor underlying susceptibility to addiction (pp.22-38) since, "(a) well-developed oxytocin system is in a position to directly and indirectly increase resilience, for example by reducing drug reward, increasing social reward, reducing anxiety, reducing stress response and immune stimulation." The authors note that while some of these differences are constitutional, early childhood stress, including maternal separation, can " disrupt the normal development of the oxytocin system and other systems."  They postulate that in the case of such adversity, the oxtocin system will still develop but "basal levels might be lower" and the system may be less protective in times of stress, making an individual more vulnerable to drug abuse and dependence and more likely to escalate use after a relapse. The model proposed here is especially interesting since animal research suggests that oxytocin administration " can attenuate drug-taking behaviour in different phases of drug use."

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Sexual Compulsivity in Heterosexual Married Adults: The Role of Sexual Excitation and Sexual Inhibition in Individuals not Considered “High-Risk”

Sexual Compulsivity in Heterosexual Married Adults: The Role of Sexual Excitation and Sexual Inhibition in Individuals not Considered “High-Risk” | Addiction Industry News | Scoop.it

"(W)e explored sexual compulsivity in a non-clinical convenience sample of 1,301 heterosexual, married adults......We also investigated whether sexual excitation and sexual inhibition, constructs in the dual control model of sexual response, would be useful in explaining differences in men's and women's sexual compulsivity. .......The importance of assessing (sexual compulsivity) in samples not considered “high risk” and the utility of applying a sexual inhibition/excitation framework to understanding sexual compulsivity are discussed."

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Rescooped by Stephanie D'Andrea from Addictions and Mental Health
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Relapse and The Persistence of Memory

Relapse and The Persistence of Memory | Addiction Industry News | Scoop.it

Even a sober  brain is busy remembering the rewards of drug and alcohol use for a very long time.  So it is necessary for most people in recovery to be equally busy remembering and addressing the “cunning, powerful and baffling” impact of psychoactive substances for a very long time as well.


Via Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home
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Barbara Wood, Ph.D. www.alcoholismandthefamily.com / Author of Children of Alcoholism and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home's curator insight, March 18, 2014 9:21 AM


This article examines evidence that while changes to the  reward circuitry of the brain that are  induced by repeated drug use are important factors that compel addicts while they are actively using drugs,   other drug-induced changes to brain structure may become bigger players in making them vulnerable to relapse. The action of  delta FosB (a transcription factor that is key to the formation of long-term memories) in the pleasure center of the brain, may be a change that is of particular importance, making addicts more sensitive to a drug’s effects when it is used again after a long break and creating extremely powerful responses to both memories of past drug rewards and to the  cues that evoke memories of those rewards. 

It includes the observation by neuroscientist Dr. Eric Nestler that:


"drug induction of ΔFosB in … is more dramatic in adolescent animals, a time of greater addiction vulnerability”.

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UK: Drugs legislation is hampering clinical research, warns David Nutt

UK: Drugs legislation is hampering clinical research, warns David Nutt | Addiction Industry News | Scoop.it
Former government drugs adviser says progress towards new treatments for pain, Parkinson's and depression being blocked

Via Lives Lived Well
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