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Thu Apr 12, 2012, 02:42 PM

Memory 'trick' relieves drug cravings

Researchers have come up with a way to help prevent recovering drug addicts from relapsing without using other pharmaceuticals to help. The approach involves modifying addicts' behaviour by weakening their memory of drug taking, which relieves their cravings and might help to prevent relapse.

Addicts tend to associate a drug's effects with drug-taking equipment and a certain environment, which can make them vulnerable to relapse if they encounter those conditions. The technique, studied by Lin Lu of the National Institute of Drug Dependence at Peking University in Beijing and his colleagues, aims to break that link by briefly reactivating the memory of drug taking and following it with an 'extinction session' of repeated exposure to the same memory cues.

The short reminder of drug-taking seems to take the memory out of storage and make it easier to overwrite.

Seeing drug-taking equipment can prompt memories of a drug's effects and tempt ex-addicts to relapse.

Existing therapies try to help addicts to unlearn their habit by, for example, showing them videos of people injecting, and having them handle syringes while not under the influence of the drug. This reduces cravings in the clinic, but not when addicts return to their usual surroundings. Other approaches tested in rats involved using memory-blocking drugs to change memories of past drug use, but these are not approved for use in humans.

To boost the technique's effectiveness, Lu and his team combined the approach with a process called memory reconsolidation. During reconsolidation, information is retrieved from long-term storage and reactivated to strengthen the memory. After retrieval, however, the information becomes temporarily unstable and thus prone to alteration. Their work is published today in Science


http://www.nature.com/news/memory-trick-relieves-drug-cravings-1.10442

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Reply Memory 'trick' relieves drug cravings (Original post)
MindMover Apr 2012 OP
tavalon Apr 2012 #1
MindMover Apr 2012 #2
RD1angel Apr 2012 #3
demosincebirth May 2012 #5
sankif May 2012 #4

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Apr 21, 2012, 06:16 PM

1. Knowing what little I know about neural pathways and decreasing the intensity

of certain memories with EMDR. This makes sense. Many a 12 step group will encourage a complete change of friends and venue, if possible. So, I think this has been a folk understanding for some time.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 21, 2012, 06:51 PM

2. In my experience as a hypnotherapist.....

this idea resonates with making total sense......

I have induced hypnotic coma and helped alleviate memories from reoccurring in many clients....

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Response to MindMover (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:01 AM

3. hogwash

Most alcoholics and addicts I am familiar with, are NOT SUGGESTIBLE. Therefore can not be hypnotist. I will at least give some credit to the idea though. Yes, when a person changes memory of "items" It does allow for an easier time with cravings, like tavalon said, 12 step programs suggest, you only have to change one thing: Everything.

It does not make sense for a person in recovery to hang out in a bar, or drive by the crack house. etc... But what about the person whose addiction didn't have any paraphernalia?

I do truely believe that when someone in recovery, practices the 12 steps, (and I say that for me, as that is the only one that worked for me and I have tried almost all of them) then there are no cravings, or obsessions. Now, when one strays away from doing what they should be doing...... emotion always wins over intellect!!!! I doesn't matter how much reconditioning a person does, the memory of what works will return.

Always somebody trying to figure out the mind of a alcoholic and/or addict. Most just do not get it!!! It has nothing do with the drugs or the drink.... it has everything to do with the "thinking" Ask any person in recovery! If they are willing to give you the time of day to explain what is impossible to understand unless you one of us.

You want to see some Memory Reconsolidation???? But a ex-addict/alcoholic in a really stressful situation!!

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Response to MindMover (Reply #2)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:44 AM

5. I wish getting and staying sober was that easy. Hell, I quit drinking hundreds of times...no

problem. Staying "quit" was my problem.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2012, 11:15 AM

4. Spam deleted by Paulie (MIR Team)

 

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