Drug Addiction Literature Review

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Literature Review:
Addiction Background and Current Drug Addiction Treatments A number of existing studies focus on the current drug addiction treatment methods available as well as how they can be made more effective. It is known that, “most drugs affect the brain's reward circuit by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This overstimulation of the reward circuit causes the intensely pleasurable ‘high' that leads people to take a drug again and again” (NIDA, 2016). Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, it becomes compulsive and difficult to control over time. The definition of addiction today is "a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful
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Disulfiram, used to treat cocaine addiction, blocks the DBH enzyme, which is involved in the breakdown of dopamine. Disulfiram may increase the dysphoric effects of cocaine, thus making the drug use unpleasant, or to blunt the drugs reward, euphoria and cravings. Previous work has indicated that the DBH C-1021T polymorphism influences plasma levels of DBH which means it would only be viable with smaller quantities of drug use. (Sturgess, George, Kennedy, Heinz, & Muller, 2011). A drug used to treat heroin addiction is methadone. CYP2D6 activity has been linked to the effectiveness of methadone treatment. In a study of 205 patients receiving methadone treatment, CYP2D6 ultrarapid metabolizers reported lower satisfaction with methadone than poor or extensive metabolizers (Sturgess, et. al., 2011). Overall, these medications have produced, among the greater population, low amounts of satisfaction rates without …show more content…
The Genetics Learning Center at the University of Utah conceptualized to what effect genetics are responsible for drug addiction traits. It is mentioned that, “because addiction is a complex disease, finding addiction genes can be a tricky process” (Genetic Science Learning Center, 2013). Genetics can influence many different bodily systems such as “…the numbers and types of receptors in peoples’ brains, how quickly their bodies metabolize drugs, and how well they respond to different medications” (NIDA, 2016). Though this is different for each person, a number of studies have shown that, “…on average, the DNA sequences of any two people are 99.9 percent the same” but the small difference is in fact very large. (NIDA, 2016). It consists of about “3 million differences in the nearly 3 billion base pairs of DNA sequence” (NIDA, 2016). This point one percent of variation is huge, taking into account that nearly half of a person’s risk for becoming addicted depends on their genetic makeup. Since addiction is so difficult to study, “researchers often look to animal models to learn more about the genetics of addiction” (Genetic Science Learning Center, 2013). Addiction is not the same in everyone. It actually varies on a wide scale. This scale can include genetics, such as age and height, or