Audience: Adults | Published: 2009
Combining testimony from people in recovery with computer generated models of neurological anatomy and physiology, a complete picture of the addiction and recovery process unfolds.
Part 1, “Memory and Relapse” explains the strong, driving force behind memory and how it is the main source of cravings. The imprinting on dendrites forming dendritic spines, the reward/reinforcement pathway, and role of neurotransmitters (dopamine) are all included here.
Part 2, “Recovery” clarifies the role of the neurology to the addicted person—what it means. While memories have an intense and permanent hold on the brain, the connections between them can be changed, and this is the framework for recovery. Abstinence from the addictive substance, be it food, alcohol, gambling, or stronger narcotics, weakens the connections while relapses strengthen them. Several suggestions are given to help ignore cravings, as well as ways for addicted individuals and those around them to keep them away from that first slip into relapse.