A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry details findings of research on nearly 50 women who signed up for a program to help control their weight and improve eating habits. It goes on to suggest how certain foods stimulate brain patters and activity not dissimilar to someone craving and seeking out drugs for their addiction.
The problem with such studies is that they are showing physiological changes in a person after stimulating them with pictures of food (same can be done with drugs and alcohol). The fact that chemicals change in the brain during such exercises or that brain images change during such tests ONLY SHOWS THAT THESE CHANGED. But it does nothing to show WHY.
The dangerous path this leads down, every time psychiatric studies of this nature are conducted, is that new drugs are theorized into existence to mute such changes in chemical activity or to prevent sections of the brain from lighting up when someone thinks of a drug or food. But that is treating the SYMPTOM, not the cause. And, it would not be so bad if drugs actually worked; but studies time and again show that they are little more effective than sugar pill placebos.
So, isn’t it time that we take all our medicine and science and funding put into garbage projects – and really get down to the bottom of what is happening when someone is exhibiting addictive behavior? Only then can we really hope to help people.
Drug rehab centers around the country have very low success rates. The norm is less than 10%. There are some rehabs that are as high as 70% or better. Why not do long term studies on those drug rehab treatment programs and document what works? I know for a fact in my review of them that it’s largely because they do not drug their patients under the guise of ‘drug replacement therapy’ and because they are usually longer than the traditional 28 day drug rehab protocol used today. This allows them to really get into the problems and underlying issues so to free a person from them.
Maybe I am an idealist but it occurs to me that if we can put a man on the moon we can sure do a better job than this psychobabble that is dished out on the subject of addiction.