Man Walking on trail in Woods

Why environmental cues make drug addiction extra hard to beat

It’s known environmental cues can be strong triggers for those trying to kick a drug habit because those cues activate the brain’s emotional and stimulus-response systems.

A new study by University of Guelph researchers reveals for the first time that there’s more going on in the brain when someone walks past a customary lighting-up spot or sees drug-taking paraphernalia that makes quitting the habit even harder.

Besides triggering the brain’s emotional and stimulus-response systems (“see smoking area, smoke, feel good”), environmental cues activate brain areas where memories are processed.

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