Two PhD's working the addiction field

key insights
  • An array of feelings can initiate drug addiction and relapse: o Everything related to stress o Feeling lonely o Lack of affiliation and social support o Impulsivity o Mood - being both happy and sad, although it’s mostly sadness that triggers relapse
  • Stress intolerance will promote continued drug taking.
  • Addiction is an overlearned behavior, it goes below the radar of consciousness. When you have automated behaviors your brain may react to cues (triggers).
  • To better understand the opioid epidemic they suggest watching “Hungry Heart,” a documentary chronicling the heart-wrenching rampage of prescription drug abuse in one northern Vermont community.
  • IDEAS FOR THE CHALLENGE: • If early detection can be captured by detecting a chemical in the brain, it needs to be expressed in another area of the body. Such as a hormone expressed, heart variability, exposure to a trigger, and stress. • The technology would need to detect stress, understand a person’s internal or external cues, and thoughts/mood (positive and negative). • Mindfulness is the antidote of addiction. The technology should have a component that makes the user feel proud and happy (assist in the release of oxytocin). Most people in recovery are looking to feel worthy of being cared about and loved. • Make a distinction in the target population either adolescents (>18 years) or adults (<18 years) because treatment and recovery approaches will vary considerably given the brain’s developmental state.