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New Research Reexamines Addiction

KALAMAZOO (WWJ) – Researchers are rethinking the roots of addiction — whether it’s to drugs and alcohol, gambling, sex or another addiction.

Dr. C. Dennis Simpson, director of the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse at Western Michigan University, says researchers are making huge strides in mapping the physical properties of addiction.

“And, people who appear to be addicted to alcohol, drugs tend not to be able to produce into the central nervous system sufficient amounts of dopamine, which produce the pleasure and thereby they look for pleasure in other ways, and drugs and alcohol could fit into that,” he said.

Simpson said the current rate of relapse is high, but adds that there’s a good chance new treatments could help.

“I think that the rate of relapse we have now is totally unacceptable, but I don’t think we have all the answers in order to reduce it significantly. I think we will get there; if we get it in my lifetime or not is a different story,” he said.

For information on substance abuse and addiction from the state of Michigan, or to find help, click here.

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