Cognition and addiction PMC

We therefore recommend to use the MoCA as a first screen in the triage for subsequent more expensive and time‐consuming (extensive neuropsychological) assessments. Drug-related cognitive deficits may be particularly detrimental to the well-being of individuals whose cognitive performance is already compromised by a mental disorder. Moreover, individuals who suffer from mental disorders abuse drugs at higher rates than the general population. In a 1986 study, smoking rates approximated 30 percent in population-based controls, 47 percent in patients with anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder, 78 percent in patients with mania, and 88 percent in patients with schizophrenia (Hughes et al., 1986). For example, long-term cannabis users have impaired learning, retention, and retrieval of dictated words, and both long-term and short-term users show deficits in – time estimation (Solowij et al., 2002), although how long these deficits persist is not yet known.

Finally, an important aspect to address in future studies of cognitive training andrehabilitation is what aspects of these interventions may work better for differentpatient subtypes. Research on moderators of cognitive training and cognitive dissonance and addiction rehabilitationeffects is particularly useful in this context. For example, in the context ofproblematic alcohol use, Houben et al51found that participants with strong impulses to drink alcohol benefitted the mostfrom WM training.

Cognitive Dissonance at Work

Then, they had to persuade a waiting study participant that the activity was really very interesting. This situation created cognitive dissonance in most individuals––they believed that the task was boring, yet for no good reason they had to say quite the opposite. Half of the participants were given a ready excuse for telling this lie––they would be paid $20 to tell the lie. Those with a clear justification ($20) for lying experienced no dissonance and, as one would expect, later reported that the task was really rather boring.

Working memory capacity is dependent on dopaminergic mechanisms91, and it has been shown that working memory training affects dopamine systems92,93. When behavioral interventions are not fully effective, having pharmacological approaches could act as a facilitation tool. For example, there is accumulated evidence that working memory impairments might be compensated with psychoactive drugs94–96, optimizing dopaminergic function in individuals with addiction. In turn, this may aid them in achieving long-sought functional restoration and support the goals of drug-use reduction and abstinence.

The Psychological Struggle of Addictive Behaviors

These same regions underlie declarative memory—the memories that define an individual, without which it would be difficult to generate and maintain a concept of self (Cahill and McGaugh, 1998; Eichenbaum, 2000; Kelley, 2004; Setlow, 1997). Drugs’ capacity to act upon the substrates of declarative memory suggests that their impact on cognition is potentially extremely far-reaching. In addition to therapy, support, and counseling from Lantana are essential components of addiction recovery. Breaking free from addiction and resolving cognitive dissonance often necessitate professional guidance. Therapists, support groups, and treatment programs can offer the necessary support, understanding, and strategies to cope with cognitive dissonance and achieve long-term recovery. The neurobiological basis of mindfulness in substance use and craving have also been described in recent literature40.






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