Dopamine level may show predilection for addiction

Reading the Sept. 7 editorial headed “When reality isn’t enough,” questioning the reasons for addiction and abusive behavior, causes me to recommend the lead article in the September edition of National Geographic magazine.

The topic of the article is addiction: what is it, and what causes it?

According to the authors, an addiction would seem to be an attraction to almost any substance whose use or consumption causes physical or emotional harm by unbalancing the victim’s behavior.

The key to the attraction seems to be the substance dopamine, a natural product of our body chemistry.

According to researchers, dopamine seems to act as a sort of spotlight, alerting the victim to the availability of certain possible sources of “pleasure.”

Examinations of persons with addictions to alcohol and similar substances reportedly reveal a marked elevation in the dopamine level.

Dave Slocum