This Deceptively Cute Animation Illustrates The Horrors Of Addiction

At first, this animated short seems rather pleasant: A kiwi encounters a golden nugget, and upon consuming it, feels a glorious sense of bliss. But as the bird continues to chase that first high, things quickly turn dark. » 11/20/14 12:40pm 11/20/14 12:40pm

Which Makes Goldfish Learn Faster: Vodka or Bourbon?

If you want to understand how different types of alcohol affect learning, ask a goldfish. That's what one Harvard Medical School researcher did in 1969, when he had them swim around in vodka and bourbon. » 10/08/14 1:34am 10/08/14 1:34am

Smoking E-Cigarettes Is A Surprisingly Effective Way To Quit

New research shows that smokers who are trying to quit are 60% more likely to succeed if they switch to e-cigarettes compared to those who use willpower alone or try nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches or gum. » 5/20/14 2:20pm 5/20/14 2:20pm

How 'Hyperpalatable' Foods Could Turn You Into A Food Addict

Over a third of the global population is now overweight, and the percentages are increasing. Some neuroscientists have suggested that the rise of so-called "hyperpalatable foods" may partially explain the unprecedented rates of obesity. » 5/12/14 11:14am 5/12/14 11:14am

No, painkillers are not creating addicts

We often hear media reports that suggest addicts are created when doctors prescribe painkillers for people who are actually in pain. But the evidence suggests that this isn't true. And the stigma against prescribing painkillers is hurting patients who need relief. » 3/07/14 11:06am 3/07/14 11:06am

Playing Tetris for 3 minutes reduces cravings for food and alcohol

The next time you feel the urge to raid the fridge, you may want to consider grabbing a video game controller instead. As a new study shows, computer games like Tetris provide a visual distraction that can reduce cravings by as much as 24%. » 3/03/14 12:06pm 3/03/14 12:06pm

Is the AA system of addiction recovery too unscientific to work?

Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs are based in part on the idea of a "sponsor," a person who provides support in times of trouble or temptation. But the problem is that the sponsor system doesn't fit with current scientific understandings of how addiction recovery works. » 2/13/14 8:48pm 2/13/14 8:48pm

Nope. Scientists did not just find an 'alcoholism gene'

A number of media outlets are reporting on the apparent discovery of an alcoholism gene — a "single fault" in your DNA that supposedly contributes to alcohol dependency. But while this new research is interesting, it's clear that addiction is much more complex than that. » 11/28/13 10:30am 11/28/13 10:30am

Is it true that Oreos are more addictive to lab rats than cocaine?

An investigation into the potential addictiveness of high-fat and high-sugar foods has found that Oreo cookies activate more neurons in the pleasure centers of rats' brains than cocaine. But does that really mean certain foods are more addictive than hard drugs? » 10/16/13 12:45pm 10/16/13 12:45pm

How much alcohol is too much?

Located somewhere between the craggy cliffs of Raging Alcoholism and the tranquil (if a tad repressed) planes of Stone-Cold Sobriety roll the pleasantly sloping hills of Moderate Booze-Consumption. It's a nice, pleasantly buzzed place to visit – but getting there can be a little tricky. What does it really mean, after… » 9/10/13 12:20pm 9/10/13 12:20pm

Just one sip of beer can trigger a dopamine surge in your brain

It's been known for some time that alcohol in beer, wine and liquor, consumed in large enough quantities, can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. But a new study reveals that the mere taste of beer, in the absence of any alcoholic mechanism, can touch off a dopamine surge, as well. » 4/15/13 4:15pm 4/15/13 4:15pm

You'd never guess that Napoleon Dynamite himself was behind this creepy…

This is Drained, a wordless, 10-minute film with a simple synopsis — "the story of how a man's addictions can destroy the woman he loves" — but intensely unnerving stop-motion animation using household items. » 10/22/12 11:10am 10/22/12 11:10am

Here are the fifteen professions that drink the most coffee. Guess…

In 2011, Dunkin' Donuts teamed up with CareerBuilder to shed some light on U.S. coffee consumption in the workplace. After polling 4,700 American workers, they concluded that "some professionals need coffee more than others." » 10/02/12 9:10am 10/02/12 9:10am

Are ‘cognitive enhancers’ messing up the minds of high school students?

It's well known that cognitive enhancers like Ritalin and Adderall are all the rage in U.S. colleges. But what's less known is how the practice is starting to take off in high schools. As a recent New York Times article notes, this is potentially worrisome — and not just because of the rampant off-label use of these… » 6/11/12 4:20pm 6/11/12 4:20pm

'Cupcakes are as addictive as cocaine,' and Other Worthless Comparisons

Over on Mind Hacks, Vaughan Bell has put together a great little post that calls attention to just how worthless, misleading and inaccurate the catch phrase "as addictive as cocaine" has become in the popular press. » 5/07/12 5:00pm 5/07/12 5:00pm

This is what your brain on drugs really looks like

Scientists this week published a study that reveals what the human brain looks like under the influence of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic chemical found in magic mushrooms. » 1/25/12 9:05am 1/25/12 9:05am

Nicotine and alcohol addiction linked to a common enzyme

Cigarettes and booze are either two crippling addictions that often go hand in hand, or two great tastes that taste great together, depending on who you ask. People who have problems with both are often labelled "addictive personalities" but it turns out there might be something in our brain chemistry that ties both… » 9/16/11 6:40am 9/16/11 6:40am

Salt cravings may be the origin of all drug addictions

All humans crave salt once in a while. The desire is hardwired into an ancient part of our brains, the hypothalamus, because we need it to keep our bodies working properly. Now it looks like some of the more addictive drugs out there could be co-opting this neurological system — which means our desire for salt is… » 7/15/11 7:00am 7/15/11 7:00am

We've found the part of the brain that makes people want to do cocaine

Cocaine is a hugely addictive drug, capable of fundamentally changing the brains of those who use it. But that dependence doesn't necessarily come out of nowhere, as we've now discovered what part of the brain predisposes people to cocaine use. » 6/21/11 3:36pm 6/21/11 3:36pm