Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Drug or Alcohol Addiction Has a Strong Biological Basis

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Drug or Alcohol Addiction Has a Strong Biological Basis

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: Is it right to say those unable to stop addiction to drugs are weak?

Dear Reader: There is a lot of stigma and shame associated with addiction. But the truth is, people with substance-use disorders aren't simply weak or immoral. It surely is true that people who try out illegal addictive drugs for recreational purposes are breaking the law.

The most important point is that addiction has a biological basis:

- An addicted person's impaired ability to stop using drugs or alcohol has to do with deficits in the function of the prefrontal cortex.

- The prefrontal cortex is not fully developed in adolescents and is particularly vulnerable during this time. The earlier the brain is exposed to a drug, the greater the potential for damage. …

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