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    Marijuana Addict Brains Respond To Drug Paraphernalia
    By News Staff | July 16th 2014 06:30 AM | 1 comment | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    A new paper has found that drug paraphernalia triggers the reward areas of the brain differently in dependent and non-dependent marijuana users.

    The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States. According to a 2013 survey from the Pew Research Center, 48 percent of Americans ages 18 and older have tried marijuana. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that 9 percent of daily users will become dependent on marijuana.


    The study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that different areas of the brain activated when dependent and non-dependent users were exposed to drug-related cues. 

    "We know that people have a hard time staying abstinent because seeing cues for the drug use triggers this intense desire to seek out the drugs," said Dr. Francesca Filbey, lead author of the study and professor at
    the University of Texas at Dallas. "That's a clinically validated phenomenon and behavioral studies have also shown this to be the case. What we didn't know was what was driving those effects in the brain."




     Dr. Francesca Filbey. Credit: The University of Texas at Dallas.

    A comparison of the images revealed that the nucleus accumbens, the reward region in the brain, was activated in all users in response to the pipe. However, the strengths of the connections with other areas differed between dependent and non-dependent users.

    "We found that the reward network is actually being driven by other areas unrelated to reward, like the areas in memory and attention or emotion," Filbey said.

    Non-dependent users showed greater activations in the orbital frontal cortex and hippocampus, suggesting that memory and attention were connected to the activation of the reward network. Dependent users had greater activations in the amygdala and anterior cingulate gyrus, suggesting a more emotional connection.

    Additionally, the areas of the brain activated resemble areas activated for other addictions, such as nicotine or cocaine, lending greater support to the addictiveness of marijuana.

    These findings suggest that marijuana abuse intervention needs to cater more specifically to a user's level of addiction.

    "Clinicians treating people with problems with marijuana dependence should consider the different processes that trigger the reward response when determining possible pharmacological or behavioral interventions," Filbey said.



    Comments

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

    ENLIGHTENMENT...i was a brainwashed evil, mean, christian conservative until i tried it at 17 years old...i hated gays, immigrants, women's rights, blacks, marijuana, i was Rush Limbaugh's #1 fan....until i smoked marijuana, changed the world....hope the EVIL POPE is enjoying the marijuana revolution around the globe, keeping the flock brainwashed and against marijuana, gays, and women's rights...you don't deny ease from pain and suffering for billions of people unless you are PURE EVIL...

    1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...

    "any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states and NEW YORK (CBD=Can't Be Done), sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

    Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
    Deaths by Tobacco: Millions
    Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
    Deaths by Guns: Millions
    Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
    Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

    love and freedom forever

    AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33