Brain Scan & Addiction
The goal is to find brain scans of different types of addictions, as well as how addictions to substances like alcohol, meth, and opiates can affect the brain.
- Studies have shown that repeated opiate exposure can cause synaptic rewiring in the brain, which negatively affects transmission, learning, and memory.
- Opiates and heroin floods the brain with much more dopamine than usual and eventually build up a tolerance that causes the brain to naturally reduce the amount of dopamine it produces itself in the future.
- This chart from Amen Clinics, while not actual brain scans, depict what a SPECT brain scan would look like in different conditions such as healthy, after 3 years of meth use, 10 years of alcohol use, and more.
- Brain scans can actually show what kind of addict a person is, such as a temporal lobe addict or an impulsive addict.
- This article contains a brain scan that shows the difference in natural dopamine levels in an addict at the beginning of treatment and after 14 months of recovery.
- Long-term alcohol abuse can cause Korsakoff syndrome, which causes amnesia, visual disturbances, and confusion.
- One study showed that the damaging effects of long-term alcohol use can continue even six weeks after the user has stopped drinking completely.
- This study showed that long term, heavy marijuana use can affect the communication between different areas in the brain and ultimately affect things like learning and retention.
- Long-term meth use can damage blood vessels in the brain, causing a brain bleed. It can also cause memory loss and impair motor skills over time.
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