The neurological predisposition to addiction

Best-selling author David Sheff details the neurological predisposition to addiction to either alcohol or drugs and how certain individuals are more likely to become addicted to a specific substance.
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The neurological predisposition to addiction

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There are kids who are much more likely to become addicted, but it is also to know that any child can become addicted if they use drugs. One of the factors is how early they use. The earlier they use, the more likely. And also, of course, the more drugs. Over time, a child can become addicted even if they don´t have other risk factors, but they are more likely to become addicted if they have any of a number of risk factors. One of them is addiction, alcoholism in their family, so there is a big genetic component. Other factors include kids who suffer through traumas, and some of the kinds of traumas can be obvious ones like abuse, violence but it can also be sort of persistent discord in their home, on-going trauma, dysfunction in their family, a lot of parents yelling. And then, there are things, psychological problems, kids with depression that are more likely. Kids with bipolar disorder, any of those kinds of things that aren´t being treated. Kids with ADHD, ADD, kids with learning disabilities. There are also environmental factors that have a big influence on whether or not someone is going to become addicted, kids growing up in poverty, kids growing up in families where they are not really being raised and kids who are left on their own a lot, kids who are living in violent neighborhoods and neighborhoods where you walk outside the door and there are people dealing drugs and using drugs. You put all these things together, and there is a lot of reasons we have to be concerned and pay attention. And it is also important to know that if you add risk factors together. So if the child suffers from, if a child has a psychological disorder and then is experiencing a really traumatic divorce, a really contentious divorce with his parents, he is more likely to become addicted.

Best-selling author David Sheff details the neurological predisposition to addiction to either alcohol or drugs and how certain individuals are more likely to become addicted to a specific substance.

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David Sheff

Writer

David Sheff is the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, the follow-up to his New York Times #1 bestseller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s AddictionClean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public-health challenge of our time.

Beautiful Boy was based on Sheff’s article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine and won an award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.”  It was named the nonfiction book of the year by Entertainment Weekly.  

Named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People, Sheff also won the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence Media Award. Sanjay Gupta, MD, said, "As a clear-eyed chronicler of addiction, David is without peer.”

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