Addiction is a disease of the brain because the drugs damage the frontal context that allows us to decide what is rewarding and then react accordingly and vice versa. In addition, the frontal context enables one to change their behaviours if they are not rewarding. As such, the drugs limit the frontal cortex from this elasticity and that is why individuals who are addicted are unable to control themselves even though it is not rewarding.
The environment has the ability to generate a powerful memory that drives our behaviours in order to survive and hence produce addiction. On the other hand, the genetics can increase or reduce addiction by impacting the receptor mechanism that regulates the dopamine produced in the brain.
It is true that the use of drugs early in life is associated with increased risk of addiction. This is mainly because the frontal cortex of the brain has not yet formed and therefore, it makes the young people have little control of what they engage in, including trying drugs.
Addiction is a chronic disease because it requires continuity of care to avoid relapsing. In my view, I think she is correct because addiction is a disease and just like any other, it requires full treatment to cure.
Food intake, sexual activity, and drug use are common to the dopamine pathway.
The dopamine pathway relates to drug relapse in the sense that drugs increase the production of dopamine which increases the urge to take drugs. The common comorbidity with drug addiction is mental illnesses.
The human brain can recover from a period of addiction when one receives constant treatment. Effective treatment includes continuity of care.
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