17-43 Segment 1: The Biology of Addiction

 

Addiction has become undoubtedly entangled in modern American society. Whether it’s gambling, food, sex, technology, alcohol or drugs, the deadly disease hijacks the human brain with severe ramifications. Recent eruptions in the number of opiate addicts and overdoses has shined an even brighter spotlight on this critical public health issue.

There is an inclination to equate addiction to a moral failing, lack of willpower, or simply bad judgment. Dr. Rita Goldstein, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explains that due to our ‘evolutionary legacy,’ the reward center in the brain is designed to make us feel good when we do things like eat food or have sex. Yet, with prolonged addiction, a chemical imbalance occurs, and as a result, the reward center takes priority over rational thinking or the threat of negative consequence. When addictive behavior is continually reinforced, further imbalance occurs, weakening the part of the brain meant to counterbalance impulsive behavior.   

The good news; Dr. Anna Rose Childress, Research Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Pennsylvania School of Medicine, observes that with abstinence, with or without the use of medications for recovering addicts, the brain can begin rewiring pathways created in the midst of addiction. The road to recovery is not yet paved in the golden promise of a cure, but understanding the biology of addiction is a critical component of treating the disease.

Guest:

  • Dr. Rita Goldstein, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York
  • Dr. Anna Rose Childress, Research Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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17-19 Segment 2: Cancer Treatment and Sex

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Cancer treatment has always focused on survival. Now doctors are increasingly focusing on side effects, including the effect of treatment on sexual function and satisfaction. However, many patients are shy about bringing up their difficulties, unaware there are ways to help. One of the nation’s top experts discusses.

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Coming Up On Radio Health Journal

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Bariatric Surgery in Teens: The proportion of severely obese teenagers continues to rise. Doctors increasingly understand that only weight loss surgery is likely to help them lose weight and avoid health consequences of obesity. But teens are often held back until they’re so heavy that even bariatric surgery isn’t enough to return them to normal weight.

Cancer Treatment and Sex: Cancer treatment has always focused on survival. Now doctors are increasingly focusing on side effects, including the effect of treatment on sexual function and satisfaction. However, many patients are shy about bringing up their difficulties, unaware there are ways to help. One of the nation’s top experts discusses.

Stay in the loop! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Subscribe and review on iTunes!