Addiction poster
Poster for Addiction (courtesy of IMDB)

The HBO documentary Addiction was produced by John Hoffman and Susan Froemke with Executive Producer Sheila Nevins. The documentary has nine segments that focus on case studies, brain imagery research and cutting edge treatments.

Research and brain imagery are revealing new information about the effects of addiction and rehabilitation on the brain. Some interesting revelations from the documentary include:

  1. Addiction starts between the ages of 18-25 years. (1)
  2. Relapse is part of the addiction disorder (2)
  3. Addiction is a brain disease. (3)

Brain Imagery science has shown the areas of the brain that are effected by addiction and also show the positive effects of rehabilitation on the brain centers: “Go” in the brainstem and “Stop” in the frontal lobe. Imagery alsp shows the capacity for recovery of brain function when drug usage stops and is maintained for at least one year.

Research into treatments for addiction have shown promising medications that assist in supporting rehabilitation. (4)

But 43% of those seeking medications and treatment cite cost for insurance as the barrier to their acquisition.

You can stream Addiction online here.

Sources cited in the documentary:
(1) Dr. Mark Willenbring, National Insitute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
(2) Penn/VA Addiction Research Center
(3) Brookhaven National Laboratory
(4) University of Virginia Center for Addiction Research & Education