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The Role of the Brain in Addiction

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Select two models of addiction . Compare how each model addresses the brain changes (neurological effects) associated with using a substance (or gambling) to excess. (Note that the media pieces and optional articles may be helpful to aid your understanding of the role of the brain in addiction.) Consider the relative emphasis that each model places upon the role of physiological brain functions or changes to explain addiction. Make an educated prediction regarding how well the model can adapt to emerging developments in the neuroscience of addiction.

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Research suggests that the key to understanding drug use or abuse is that it is compulsive behavior. A 2011 National survey on drug use and Health report findings that show illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco by the civilian, population of the United States were 12 years or older. On this basis, adolescents may experiment with drugs or alcohol, and also may express their depression through hostile, aggressive, risk-taking behavior (www.nimh.hih.gov). Further research indicates that many factors can contribute to depression for adolescents including the biological fact that some may have too much or too little of certain brain chemicals (Pinel, 2006). Moreover, because the conceptualization of self is so fundamental to the notion of development, neurobiological investigations have been used to investigate how mental processes are integrated through the lifespan to help shape healthy individual development. For instance, based on the neurological process, the basic circuits of the brain are developing important mechanisms that underlie mental processes such as emotions, memory, behavior and interpersonal relationships. These processes are essential in regulating behavior, particular in adolescents, who are faced with a number of ...

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This solution discusses the role of the brain in addiction.

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