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Houston Matters

What’s Really Going on Inside the Brain of an Addict?

The recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has once again raised the specter of addiction. It’s a topic often discussed, but not always well understood. More and more, medical professionals are recognizing addiction as a medical condition. They explain how drugs and alcohol can affect the chemistry in our brains, and how some of […]

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The recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has once again raised the specter of addiction. It’s a topic often discussed, but not always well understood. More and more, medical professionals are recognizing addiction as a medical condition. They explain how drugs and alcohol can affect the chemistry in our brains, and how some of us may be genetically predisposed to addiction.

And yet others still perceive such talk as a cop-out. That addicts merely lack will power, that some just don’t want to end their addiction, that rehab doesn’t really work.

We explore drug and alcohol addiction in Houston, focusing on what’s really going on inside the brain of an addict, what treatment options exist in Greater Houston, and how our attitudes and approaches towards addiction may be changing. We talk with Dr. Michael Weaver, medical director of the Center for Neuro-behavioral Research on Addictions at the UT Health Science Center, and Lori Feister, Director of Treatment Services with the Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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