Addiction as a disorder of the brain

The way a person's brain is wired may play a role in determining whether or not they are likely to become addicted to drugs. This is according to new research from the University of Cambridge, which suggested addiction may partly be explained as a disorder of the brain.

Published in the journal Science and funded by the Medical Research Council, the study revealed siblings who are hooked on drugs have the same abnormalities in the region of the brain that controls behaviour as their non-addict brothers and sisters.

Chartered psychologist Dr Karen Ersche, lead researcher on the investigation, said it is well-known that not everyone who takes drugs subsequently becomes dependent on them.

Speaking to the BBC, she added: "It shows that drug addiction is not a choice of lifestyle, it is a disorder of the brain and we need to recognise this."

Hi Julie

Thank you for your post.

The abstract for this study can be found here:

This should, I think, contain the answers to your questions.

Kind Regards,

Robert Knight
BPS Press Officer

Is it the frontal lobes that are affected, the areas of the brain in charge of our personality ? Cortex or neural pathways ?

Fill me in as I like to keep up to date.


Julie S. MacLure MA MEd MBPsS

Treating addiction with specific biofeedback frequencies is one effective way to combat the condition. I have found the Living Information Forms Energy System (a medical Class 2A device) to be a great piece of equipment in such treatment.