Decision Making in an Addicted Brain

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Decision Making in an Addicted Brain
Decision making is a mental process of selecting a course of action. We exercise this right to free will on a very regular basis. We often think this right comes easily to us, however in individuals with neurological addictions decision making can be a difficult process.

With individuals who are addicted to a substance or habit decision making is abnormal (Fecteau, 2010). When an addict partakes in the substance they are addicted to there is often a rush or feeling of relief. If an addict is attempting to quit using a substance, they often attempt to obtain a similar feeling of satisfaction. Typically recovering addicts turn to risky decision making due to the fact that when one makes a risky choice the two experiences share similar behavioral sensations (Fecteau, 2010). Understanding how addicts make decisions based on their addiction is crucial in planning treatment options in order to suppress drug cravings in substance abusing patients.

Through certain testing, scientists have discovered that specific, noninvasive brain stimulation can aid in the suppressing of drug cravings in addicts. The inference was made that if we can stimulate a portion of the brain that controls decision making in the average human, we can aid in the suppression of cravings. This portion of the brain is called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Fecteau, 2010). It is located in the frontal cortex of the brain which controls other things such as mannerisms, social and sexual behavior, as well as decision making. With this technique of addiction suppression, there are many things to take into consideration. These things could be possible implications with the therapy, moral values as to whether testing this method on humans is humane, as well as whether or not there could be possible health risks in the future. This method of addiction suppression is an interesting one that could potentially make shaking an addiction much less difficult if the...
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