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 Current scientific knowledge on addiction 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:17 am
Posts: 3
State/Province/Country: Nederland
Yesterday, I found this really good review article in the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the top medical journals, which summarizes all the recent advances in neurobiologic research into addiction (it's freely accessible):
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1511480

I found it a good read, and it helps explain a lot of the stuff that I went through and am still experiencing.
How most addictions start with a voluntary choice to use; however, they've identified how receptors and neurotransmitters in the brain gradually change through repeated use, ensuring that addicts don't have a choice anymore.
How the whole reward structure is centered around the drug; the general dopamine level is lower and less reactive than in normal people, and only the drug is able to get a shot of dopamine again. This explains why we're willing to neglect normal activities, work, friends, family: it literally is not able to give us any pleasure anymore.
How just like with pavlovian training, dopamine will be released in anticipation of the reward. This means that urges and cravings will come up, when reminded of similar situations where we used the drug in the past.
How we're more sensitive to stress and negative emotions, giving us another reason to escape from this mental state. And while using and bingeing will temporarily relieve the distress, it will further deepen these changes that caused it in the first place.
How our prefrontal cortex is affected: even if we're very motivated, we're less able to resist the urges.

It explains the symptoms that I'm still experiencing. How these structural changes will not immediately go away when I stop with gaming. But thankfully, our brains are able to change. Maybe it's hard, and it might always be a vulnerability, but if we put the work in, we're able to strengthen the healthy parts of our brains and start to undo the damage.


Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:46 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:21 pm
Posts: 147
State/Province/Country: NC, USA
Thanks for sharing! And here is a fabulous spiritual solution to our physical malady:

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous

And another...

http://www.nabasictext.com/basic-text/ (This one comes with sound!)


Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:08 pm
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 11:37 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Rockland NY
State/Province/Country: Rockland NY
Meh, January of 2016. Ok, close enough.

BTW Gaming did get a mention in this article:

"Advances in neurobiology have begun to clarify the mechanisms underlying the profound disruptions in decision-making ability and emotional balance displayed by persons with drug addiction. These advances also provide insight into the ways in which fundamental biologic processes, when disrupted, can alter voluntary behavioral control, not just in drug addiction but also in other, related disorders of self-regulation, such as obesity and pathologic gambling and video-gaming — the so-called behavioral addictions. Although these disorders also manifest as compulsive behaviors, with impaired self-regulation, the concept of behavioral addiction is still controversial, particularly as it relates to obesity. (Behavioral addictions are described in Box S2 in the Supplementary Appendix.9) This research has also begun to show how and why early, voluntary drug use can interact with environmental and genetic factors to result in addiction in some persons but not in others."

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leveling in steps, serenity, sponcys, sponsors, exercise, and sleep, (sanity has been downsized)


Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:35 am
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