Clients with addiction are vulnerable to stress. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that stress triggers substance cravings in those with addiction, but not healthy controls (Fox HC et al, Neuropsychopharmacology 2008;33(4):796–805). The addicted brain is also particularly sensitive to environmental cues related to substance use—people, places, and things that act as triggers. In functional imaging studies, drug-related images “light up” the brain, even if subliminally presented (Yalachkov Y et al, Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2012;36(2):825–835; Childress AR et al, PLoS One 2008;3:e1506).
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