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Is the Addict Still the Same Person? By Elizabeth Seward

When your loved one’s relationships at home, work, school and elsewhere suffer on account of their addiction, it’s not uncommon to believe the addiction has turned them into a different person. But how true is the concept? Could an addiction, in fact, bring forward a personality—or person—that is truly a diversion from his or her actual self? In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State psychologist Dr. Brad Lander has spoken about the topic. Previous studies with rats have revealed some startling insight for how the minds of human addicts probably work. In the lab, rats that were addicts repeatedly choose the substance over eating, drinking, resting, having sex, and other basic behaviors. Even when the addictive substance was made difficult to get to—requiring rats to cross over an electrified grid—they still choose to get to the drug, despite the jolt. Is Addiction a Choice? This last part of the study is telling, because it implies that a drug addiction can even overwri…

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