Monday, June 16, 2008

High Impulsivity Predicts The Switch To Compulsive Cocaine-taking

ScienceDaily (June 16, 2008) — Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found impulsivity, a trait often associated with addicts’ behaviour, predicts whether casual drug use will lead to compulsive drug use. Their findings were recently reported in Science.

Many individuals take addictive drugs at some point in their lives – not just illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin, but also legal and commonly available substances such as alcohol and nicotine. But only a sub-group of those who take drugs eventually lose control over their drug use and become ‘addicted’.

These individuals take more drugs than intended, seek and take drugs compulsively and persist in doing so despite the many adverse consequences, such as compromising their health, family relationships, friendships and work. Many resort to criminal behaviour to obtain the funds necessary to sustain their compulsive drug use.

Why are some individuals vulnerable to this transition from casual to compulsive drug use? Scientists have concluded that there is a genetic vulnerability to addiction, which is best known for alcoholism. However, the precise relationship between vulnerability genes and addictive behaviour remains to be established.

Click here to read entire article at Science

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