The Science of Relapse

Total Running Time: 10:54 min.

In an effort to understand relapse as a part of the addiction disorder, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania enlisted addicts to participate in a study investigating the brain's response to drug cues. One subject, William, is addicted to crack, and describes his relapses as "battles" he can't win. Anna Rose Childress, a neuroscientist, explains that William's brain is being "tricked" by "go" impulses in the brain, and that his urges are triggered by environmental and sensory images. Technology now allows doctors to examine the brain in order to "fix what's broken." Combining medication with behavioral treatment, the brain can now be "reset" to help addicts like William keep addictions under control.