Addiction is known as an enduring neural disorder that involves the limbic cortico-striatal neurological systems of the brain. Throughout an individual’s chronic exposure to these addictive substances, there is an advanced neurobiological adaptation that hastens the user’s control over the loss of his behavior. The use of cocaine, for instance, starts out as an individual’s willful choice. However, as the said individual’s extent and length of use progresses, such voluntary choice turns into a habitual and goal-directed behavior. This behavior, later on, turns into an obsessive and incontrollable cocaine-seekingbehavior, regardless of the user’s knowledge of its side effects.
As highlighted in an article released by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, in the past, there was a widely-agreed belief that addiction is a habitual type of behavior and being such, most of the treatments were based on this premise.
The Details of the New Research
Just like in numerous studies about addiction in the past, the study conducted by Dr. Singer used rats to study different kinds of behaviors. Cocaine was the drug administered to these lab rats. Though this study used the same subject as the various studies in the past, the tasks required to be done before the subjects can receive their rewards were very different. In the past, these drug studies used lever pressing, a repetitive behavior, to obtain the drug. In this recent study, however, the researchers set harder and more complex activities, like solving puzzles before the rats can receive their rewards.
To eliminate the habit-forming tendencies of the activities administered and required from the subjects, the puzzles were changed after weeks of testing. The subject rats were placed in their own chambers and while inside, there were also puzzles set up which include lever pressing, wheel spinning, and nose poking. All these activities need to be finished and done in a specific order, and once the subjects commit any mistake, the puzzle will be reset, and the subject will have to start all over again. If the rats can complete the puzzle successfully, small doses of cocaine are given to them as a reward. This system is named by the researchers as the Puzzle Self-Administration Procedure (PSAP).
The main goal of the researchers in altering and in increasing the complexity of each puzzle is to determine if prolonged exposure to this kind of experience will also end in addiction-like behavior. After the research was done, they concluded that yes, the subjects showed sensitized motivation to get the drug, escalation of intake, and repeated use despite the negative effects of the drug.
Furthermore, the researchers were also able to show how motivation affects addiction. They found that the subjects were eager to persist and solve the puzzles just to get the right dose of cocaine. Habits were not formed in this study, what showed, however, is the willingness and the motivation of the subjects to overcome any task just to get the drug.
A straightforward summary of the results of the study is this — certain actions, events, or substances can spur dopamine production in the brain. This, in turn, makes the individual feel good and as a result of that feeling, he also gets inspired to try doing these activities or taking the substances again.
Knowing How Motivation Affects Addiction is Helpful in Treatment
Knowing more about the fact that motivation drives addiction can contribute easily to the effort of finding more effective treatment options for addiction. Through this knowledge, treatments can have higher success rates and more people can be taught and helped in breaking away from their hellacious circumstances and conditions.
According to an article published by the Independent UK, “most of our treatment methods are results of hit and miss.” Some believe addiction is a behavioral concern, while others view it as a mental condition. There are also those who believe addiction is a habit. With these different perceptions towards addiction, it’s difficult to get more successful results.
If we can only narrow down the factors affecting addiction, accurate, more helpful, more successful and more pinpointed treatments can be created.
When Seeking a Drug Recovery Center
Though addiction is not an easy battle, with the right treatment partner, the willingness to recover, and with the support of one’s family, it can be won. Here at Elite Rehab Placement, we understand your plight and are willing and capable of helping you on your journey towards sobriety. All you have to do is to make that one call.
So, call us today and learn about your different addiction treatment options. Don’t delay your recovery!