Research also shows that “Effective modulation of the stress response is an essential component of resilience and is dependent on a complex interplay of neurobiological and behavioral factors.”11 We may come to find that reducing significant stress among vulnerable groups is one of the most important behavioral, prevention, and public health goals. Stress is certainly a major cause of drug and alcohol craving.12 It also causes a drive for relief, which is often seen as the proximal event in relapse. Prevention efforts focused on high-stress system risk individuals (e.g., trauma, early life adversity, psychiatric co-morbidity, PTSD, genetic, family history) may be a way to make these otherwise arcane dopamine-pleasure system data useful to people today.
What we have learned from Stress & Addiction Research
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