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Monday, May 8, 2017

New Study on Drug Craving

New research sheds light on how craving works in the brain, according to a new article published in JAMA Psychiatry. Scientists at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas are the first to propose a model that focuses on the intense, urgent feeling of needing or wanting drugs. 

"Craving is considered one of the strongest predictors of relapse," said Dr. Xiaosi Gu, who runs the Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Center for BrainHealth, in a statement. "Even after an individual has broken the cycle of compulsive drug taking, craving can still persist. Although current treatment can handle a lot of the behavioral aspects of addiction, especially physical symptoms, craving is difficult to treat because it is a subject state ... We aim, with this new framework, to begin to separate craving from reward- or drug-seeking behavior."

Dr. Gu, along with Dr. Francesca Filbey and Bert Moore Chair, are collaborating to identify which regions of the brain encode craving and to lay the groundwork for quantifying craving, its effects and ways to target treatments to counteract it. Of course, time will tell how this research can impact treatment for alcohol and substance abuse disorders as well as binge-eating disorders.  

3 Ways to Fight Craving
  • Change your surroundings. Go for a walk, bike ride or drive. The goal is to change your surroundings to eliminate any triggers, including sights, sounds and smells.
  • Seek support. Call a family member, trusted friend or sponsor to help you calm down and ride out the craving.
  • Engage in a “clean” activity. Watch a funny movie, do a puzzle, play a video game or try a new Pinterest project.
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Many things trigger relapse, including events, places and negative relationships. Our relapse prevention and aftercare planning offers holistic relapse strategies to empower you or someone you love to slowly eliminate the dangerous urge to self-medicate. To learn more about our holistic treatment facility and programs, call: 866-930-4673.

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