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Combating drug cravings to beat drug addiction

Combating drug cravings can be one of the hardest tasks when it comes to beating addiction.  Not only do cravings arise as a result of cues, such as a place you used to take drugs, but they are also a physical problem as well, as many drugs work in such a way that they prime the body to experience very real and very powerful physical cravings.

Both of these issues can be downfalls in drug treatments, and they can be especially dangerous if they occur simultaneously, for example going to a former 'drug den' while you are already experiencing physical cravings.  The difficulty often lies n trying to separate the two, as they can feed into each other, and this can thus make it difficult for an individual to identify a strategy to try and overcome the sensation, or their strategy may not work because they are both active and will continue to feed one another.  An example of this may be when an individual is in an environment commonly associated with drugs, at first they may only experience a psychological craving, but unfortunately this may be strong enough to evoke a physical craving, and thus any techniques to combat the psychological issues, may become redundant.

It is for this reason that the understanding of how cravings develop, how they work and what can be done about them is so important.  When people enter into treatment in a drug abuse center, more often than not they will be encouraged to learn techniques to help them handle the cue induced cravings that may arise, and these techniques will often be varied and personal to a certain individual.  But while these are an extremely useful tool, it may be that for some people they need help with the physical cravings as well, and scientist have suggested that an intervention for this issue may be on the horizon.  A recent study has suggested that there are certain chemical areas of the brain that may be important in the production of cravings, and that if these can be targeted with a chemical intervention, it could drastically affect the presence of cravings, and help people overcome their drug addictions with increased ease (Science Daily, 2012).

If this is the case it could mean a much smoother transition from treatment into the home environment for individuals, and could mean a dramatic decrease in the numbers of people who suffer relapses.



Science Daily.  (2012).  Potential target for anti-craving medications identified.  Sourced from:


Published by on 27/07/2020.

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