Experts from Brigham Young University in Utah found that addiction results from an “overcorrection” in the brain, a PsychCentral report said.
The report relayed the findings of Brigham Young University scientists who discovered that the brain “overcompensates” from the rise of dopamine levels in the brain’s pleasure system due to drug and alcohol intake.
It added that the brain produces a protein called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a reaction to the increased dopamine level. BDNF suppresses the increased dopamine level, but it also interferes with the brain’s normal production of dopamine even if the person’s euphoric high as dissipated.
This in turn makes a person crave for drugs and alcohol more as lower dopamine levels causes him or her to feel pain and anxiety during withdrawal.
“The body attempts to compensate for unnatural levels of dopamine, but a pathological process occurs,” researcher Dr. Scott Steffensen was quoted saying in the report. “We think it all centers around a subset of neurons that ordinarily put the brakes on dopamine release.”
“I am optimistic that in the near future medical science will be able to reverse the brain changes in dopamine transmission that occur with drug dependence and return an ‘addict’ to a relatively normal state,” Steffensen said.
“Then the addict will be in a better position to make rational decisions regarding their behavior and will be empowered to remain drug free,” he added.
Common treatment modalities for opioid or alcohol addicts include long-term group therapy, behavioral therapy, and methadone or buprenorphine maintenance (methadone and buprenorphine are synthetic opioid derivatives).
However, these treatments do not necessarily target addiction at its source—the brain’s pleasure feelings—where complex pathological processes happen as what the Psych Central report revealed.
One class of drugs that can be used to effectively combat addiction is called an antagonist. Naltrexone is an example of this class of drug that has been under-prescribed for addicts and alcoholics for a very long time.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, naltrexone has been proven very effective in reducing the number of days alcoholics relapse and in completely turning their back on alcohol and drugs.
Naltrexone prevents opioids and alcohol from binding to the brain’s pleasure center, thus preventing addicts from feeling euphoria or cravings for drugs and alcohol.
Injectable and tablet forms of naltrexone are more common in the rehabilitation sector, but can’t be as effective if the addict misses or intentionally skips their dose.
To address this challenge, addiction rehabilitation company BioCorRx, Inc. (OTCQB: BICX) has created a program that includes an innovative biodegradable naltrexone implant so that patients consistently receive effective levels of naltrexone over several months, without the issue of dose skipping.
“Non-compliance with taking oral naltrexone daily has been a big barrier to the drug’s widespread use. The person needs to decide or remember to take it every waking morning which has proven to be a difficult task for most,” stated Brady Granier, COO of BioCorRx. “With effective long lasting implantable forms of naltrexone, that frequent decision no longer has to be made by the patient, leaving them better equipped to focus on the psycho-social therapy needed for long term and hopefully life-long management of their addiction.”
BioCorRx, Inc.’s naltrexone implant is no bigger than a thumb and is inserted under the patient’s skin through a 30-minute, minimally invasive outpatient procedure done by a medical professional. The implant is administered as part of BioCorRx, Inc.’s Start Fresh Program which is distributed in several states by independent rehabilitation facilities.
Because naltrexone can successfully address the physical cravings of addicts and alcoholics, it paves the way for a more effective life coaching plan that prepares addicts for a future free of substance abuse.