Up until this point, notes lead researcher Steven Laviolette, most
doctors believed that addiction would cause a permanent change in the
brain and that such a switch from one state to another would be
"Our findings suggest that instead of a permanent alteration in the
brain, there's actually a switch that goes on between two separate
systems (one that mediates the brain's response to drugs while not yet
addicted and the other that mediates response once addicted)," says
"They also suggest we may be able to manipulate that switch
pharmacologically to take drug addicts back to a non-addicted state in
a relatively short period of time so they do not crave the drug."
Tests on lab rats showed that, with the use of certain drugs,
scientists/researchers were able to switch the brains of the animals
back to a non-addicted state in just a matter of hours, rather than the
weeks or even months that it normally takes after a period of
withdrawal from drugs.
This finding offers much hope in the burgeoning war to fight drug and
alcohol addiction, offering much simpler and cost-effective solutions
to these problems. Usual treatment for serious drug abusers
involves costly in- or out-patient rehabilitative services or self-help
12-step programs, like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.