Psy 355 Week 3 Motivation and the Brain-Refraining from Using Drugs.Doc

Topics: Drug addiction, Motivation, Addiction Pages: 4 (1211 words) Published: July 30, 2013
Motivation and the Brain/Refraining From Using Drugs

Brenda McGehee


April 15, 2013
Jeremy Christensen

Motivation and the Brain/Refraining From Using Drugs

What motivates a person has been an ongoing question for neuroscience and psychology as the two fields work hand-in-hand searching for answers. How is our behavior connected to personality, is there a motivational connection, what motivates one person and not another, and what other questions must be asked to gain insight to this ongoing topic. What affects a person’s motivation, their social interactions or thought process may be seen in the study of drug addiction. The information presented throughout this paper will explain the brains functions and structures that are hindered or altered due to the many different drugs taken by an individual that were not prescribed or have been prescribed by their physician. What are the extrinsic and intrinsic motivators that help an individual refrain from using drugs, and the biological and environmental factors concerning their recovery will be addressed. Chronic substance abuse is linked to physical changes in the brain which has a vast impact on emotional and functional abilities. Using neuroimaging for studying the brain has provided enough information to conclude that drugs dramatically change our brains structure after a period of time and affects our tolerance, cravings and withdrawal abilities including reactivating these symptoms or needs even after extended periods of none use. It is thought that the main reinforcer for drug use is the stimulus dopamine which creates a feeling of euphoria, in reality; chronic drug use decreases the production of dopamine according to neurochemical studies. The effect can be seen during the withdrawal and detoxification period. The orbitofrontal cortex and cingulate gyrus which is part of the frontal regions of the brain are the affected areas which can cause dysfunction in the brains...

References: Alcohol Treatment Programs. Alternative treatment options to AA
Leshner, A. (2007). Addiction is a brain disease. University of Texas at Dallas. Retrieved:
Peer-Reviewed Articles - Drugs and Alcohol: Open Access
Westreich, M. (2007). Helping the addict you love. Retrieved:
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