And it can also appear at certain
developmental stages, for instance,
adolescence, and subside in others.”
Using the brain faultlines model,
the AFWI is reframing how Albertans
think about addiction. The shift is
crucial to changing public policy and
making real headway in preventing
and treating addiction.
“We need to talk about thebiological and genetic causes ofaddiction and not make it out tobe someone’s destiny or fate,”Erard says. “This would lead to notwriting off families and even whole
What we now know
New research into brain development
and addiction reveals:
susceptibilities or faultlines
of sources, including when brain
architecture is formed
become a problem or addiction
problem or addiction
Need help with an addiction? Here are a few
places to start.
The Addiction Helpline
Alberta Health Services’ toll-free, 24/7 confidential helpline forAlbertans seeking help with and information about alcohol, tobacco, other drugs andgambling.
Alberta Health Services Addiction Resourcesalbertahealthservices.ca/addiction.asp
A web-based listing of all addiction services and treatment facilitiesin the province.
Addictions Services Guidecalgaryaddiction.com
An online listing of the services in the Calgary area for people withaddiction and associated mental health issues.
Know Mo, which stands for knowledge mobilization, offers a list of treatment services inthe Edmonton area.
Just as faultlines in the earth’s core can set off earthquakes,
faultlines in the brain also have risks
communities because of past histories
of addiction. We especially need to
lift the moral onus from addiction,
and recognize that the roots of
addiction can take hold as a result of
early childhood trauma.”
He adds this could also change
how resources are spent for
preventing and treating addictions.
For most people living with
addictions, overcoming the problem
is incredibly hard. Not only do they
often face a social stigma, but many
addiction treatments do not address
any biological factors or address the
root cause(s) of addiction.
But this is changing, says Cathy
Pryce, the vice president of Addiction
and Mental Health at Alberta Health
Services. “The treatment field is
evolving to reflect evidence.”
In order to successfully treat
addiction, the many factors at
play must be recognized and
become part of long-term treatment
plans. New research about early
brain development and its role in
addiction offers new optimism in
understanding, preventing and
eventually overcoming addictions.