Is the Brain to Blame for Drug Addiction?
New research suggests that some people are born with a biological predisposition to addiction because of abnormalities in their brain. The results offer insight into potential treatments.
What's the Latest Development?
Oxford University researchers believe there is a biological predisposition to drug addiction, following their examinations of the brains of drug addicts and their non-addicted brothers and sisters. The research indicates that both siblings showed the same abnormalities in brain biology, while over the course of their lives, one became a drug addict and the other did not. This suggests that the abnormalities in the brains of addicts are not caused by the drugs they ingest but are, instead, markers of a genetic predisposition toward addiction.
What's the Big Idea?
Not everyone who takes drugs becomes addicted and not everyone with a predisposition toward addiction takes drugs. In other words, nature and nurture both play a role in how someone's life develops. By looking more closely at the study's siblings who did not become addicted to drugs, though being predisposed to, researchers hope to arrive at a better understanding of how someone could be counseled to avoid drug use. If those predisposed to addiction can be identified, preventative treatments can be focused on them.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.
- The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
- It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
- Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
- Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
- Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.