Researchers report that more than desire, the presence of an old friend or listening to a familiar song triggers craving for alcohol or nicotine in people, ultimately leading to addiction. A new study found that unique person-specific cues appear to have a robust effect on craving addictive substances.

It also found that these cues may have a longer effect on craving than more general substance-specific cues such as the presence of bottles, syringes or lighters. “This work opens the prospect of integrating individual markers, predictive of relapse in treatment programs for better long-term prevention of relapse,” said Melina Fatseas from the University of Bordeaux in France and first author of the study.

The study included 132 outpatients beginning treatment for alcohol, tobacco, cannabis or opiate addiction. Using mobile technologies, participants were questioned four times per day, relative to craving, substance use and exposure to either substance-specific cues or personal cues unique to that individual. The paper appeared in the journal Wiley.

Source: IANS

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.