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Motivation in Maladaptive Behaviors: Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Stress

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Addiction to drugs and other substances or activities have been demonstrated to involve the naturally occurring brain chemical transmitter dopamine. Dopaminergic neurons in the brain send projections to a few key areas in the brain that are involved in the addictive behaviors described in the textbook and in this module. Discuss the common brain pathway that is implicated in addiction and also discuss the supporting research evidence that points to the role of this pathway in addiction.

In what ways are addictions and continuous stress maladaptive? How do you think these factors might alter one’s journey along Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, towards self-actualization?

Discuss how the use of drugs differs from other natural incentives in motivating behavior.

Discuss the inter-relationships between stress and drug use and/or drug abuse.

Discuss how the immune system and social support influence stress levels and the physiological and psychological consequences of stress.

 

 


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