Greg interviews Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) who has also been named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape Our World.” Focusing on the science of addiction and the effects it can have on the human brain, Dr. Volkow discusses how physically addiction can take hold of the person and how each person has a unique fight with addiction due to their genetic makeup. Some environments can have a direct impact on each situation. Whether you come from an extremely protective environment or an environment of neglect, these elements can have a direct effect on your battle with addiction.

There have also been specific genes identified that make people more vulnerable to addiction. However, it is a combination of the person’s environment and what they are exposed to, as well as specific genes. Family and social ties are one of the most powerful forms of prevention and also the most successful form of treatment.

Dr. Volkow emphasizes the greatest success rates among those in treatment are those that seek out a community and are surrounded by a support system. She states, “The aspect of protection is fundamental in the whole epidemic.” A positive and affirming support system is an individual’s greatest form of prevention.

Take a listen to discover more about the science and anatomy of addiction and how we as a community can support others through their battle.