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Drugs and the Brain
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For many years addiction was considered an affliction of the morally-depraved elements of society. Ignorance, some still in existence today, forced addicts to live out their lives as outcasts, as criminals in prisons or as inmates in atrocious mental institutions. Thanks to modern science, it is now known that addiction is not the result of immorality but is, in fact, due to complex issues stemming from the human brain. Some people are simply more likely to become addicted than others. Furthermore, we now know that abusing drugs and alcohol can cause fundamental changes in the brain that can take months, years or sometimes eternity to reverse. In this week’s episode we take a look at just what is going on in the brains of addicts, and why getting and staying off of drugs is so difficult for many people.

Episode Segments:
 
Break the Chains: Drugs and the Brain

In his book, The Addicted Brain, leading neuroscientist Michael Kuhar, Ph.D. explains how and why this happens–and presents advances in treatment and prevention. Dr. Kuhar shows the powerful, long-term brain changes that drugs can cause, revealing why it can be so difficult for addicts to escape their grip. We'll discuss the topics covered and his book and more in this fascinating interview that will take you inside the brain of an addict.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Michael Kuhar
Michael J. Kuhar, Ph.D is a neuroscientist, professor at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University, and author of The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs and Alcohol (2012 FT Press).

He has been an international leader in research. He has served as president of both the College on Problems on Drug Dependence (1999-2000) and the International Drug Abuse Research Society (2004-2008). In 2000, he testified at a congressional subcommittee hearing on the budget of the National Institutes of Health and has served on the editorial boards of many professional journals. He has been a consultant to the U.S. government and to the drug industry. Recently he helped found a new journal and served as the first editor-in-chief of The Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research.


For more information about Dr. Kuhar visit: www.emory.edu/neuroscience/Kuhar

 

Note: Dr. Kuhar is offering a free 7-week course on drugs and the brain beginning on June 23. For more information or to register go to:
https://www.coursera.org/course/addictedbrain