Researchers Develop Treatment for Personality Trait Associated with Addiction

By Staff Writer

Most people are aware of the long-term negative consequences of drug abuse. Yet many individuals continue to experiment with substances, eventually needing drug rehab treatment. However, a team of scientists from the Center for Addiction Research in Little Rock, Arkansas believes that identifying those who are at risk and training parts of their brains may reduce the burden of chemical dependency.

They said that the majority of drug abusers have a personality trait known as delay discounting. Individuals with this condition tend to underestimate the future consequences of their actions. Consequently, they are unfazed by the potential downside of drug abuse, even when they have been informed of it.

However, the researchers showed that it may be possible to train these individuals to have a better understanding of the consequences of their actions. By providing them with exercise that targeted the working memory part of their brain, the researchers were able to limit the effects of delay discounting.

They believe that their findings could have major implications for drug rehab programs. By incorporating this type of training into their therapy, treatment facilities may be able to improve the relapse prevention efforts of their patients.