Friday, June 30, 2006

Drugs that cure addiction

The grand daughter of Leon Trotsky (Nora Volkow) is a neuroscientist who believes that understanding the dopamine mechanisms in the brain will soon take us close to a pharmaceutical cure for addiction that is also a vaccine for all forms of addiction (gambling, sex, drugs).


Sam Ward said...

This sort of pseudoscience takes the ridiculous view that someone can be addicted a process and goes way into the world of the absurd.

You can't be "addicted" to sex or gambling, it's just a phony definition of the word. Sex and gambling addiction are largely inventions of psychiatrists and wowsers in an attempt to change public attitudes towards such things.

The idea is to get people to view the bad thing (sex, gambling, video games, whatever) in the same negative light as the regular punter views narcotics. Death by association.

People have sex, gamble and play video games because it is enjoyable and often because they don't have anything better to do.

To suggest that it's an uncontrollable impulse that envelopes a person is ridiculous.

I spend about 14 hours a day on the internet. Most people would tell you I'm an internet "addict" according to this sort of rubbish psychology.

But I don't suffer withdrawal symptoms if I don't have internet access. I don't get sick. I don't get depressed. I might get bored, sure - but that is not the same thing.

hc said...

It depends what releases dopamine. There is definitely a relationship between the reward we experience from sex and the reward from cocaine.

But I am not saying you are wrong either. Further research needed.

And I agree skepticism is warranted.