Why environmental cues make drug addiction extra hard to beat

Besides triggering the brain’s emotional and stimulus-response systems, environmental cues activate areas where memories are processed, according to this study. Prompting these memory processing systems makes it extra difficult to counter addiction because the classic stimulus-response mechanisms are reinforced by the memory effects of environmental drug cues. While this double effect makes it hard to treat drug abuse, this finding may offer a way to use cues to improve cognitive behavioural therapy.

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