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Can't give it up: The science behind addiction and the brain

By Andi Horvath

Behavioral neuroscientist Prof Andrew Lawrence discusses addictive and compulsive behaviors around drug and alcohol use, the power of psychological dependence, and how the brains of addicts differ from those of the rest of us.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Hi. I'm Dr Andi Horvath. Today we bring you Up Close to the topic of addiction. We humans have used mind-altering substances from the earliest times in our history. Our addiction to these substances stretches back as far. These days we talk of drugs, recreational and pharmaceutical. Addiction to drugs is widespread globally, clearly harmful to health, society and is economically destructive. It's a brain disorder with the brain’s altered metabolism amplifying drug cravings and making relapses back into drug dependence more likely.

Today on Up Close we explore the compulsions that drive drug addictions and the behaviours that surround drug taking and attempts to withdraw from addictive substances. The latest research into addiction does seem to hold some promise for helping, especially in the most intractable cases of addiction. Our guest is Professor Andrew Lawrence, a principal research fellow and associate director at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, at the University of Melbourne. Andrew heads up the Addiction Neuroscience Laboratory there. Andrew, welcome to Up Close.

ANDREW LAWRENCE

Thank you.

ANDI HORVATH

Andrew first up, what is...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.