Reflecting the latest content in the DSM–5, The Spectrum of Addiction presents a comprehensive overview of addictive behaviors and habits from early use through risky use, severe-risk use, and addiction. Authors Laura Veach and Regina Moro draw from their experience in both teaching and counseling to provide real-world knowledge and evidence-based practices for working with clients who fall within the spectrum of addiction ranging from experimentation to physical addiction and recovery. With a unique focus on neuroscience, integration of CACREP standards, and extensive coverage of addictions across the lifespan, the book serves as a practical resource for future addiction counselors. The Spectrum of Addiction is part of SAGE’s Counseling and Professional Identity Series. To learn more about each text in the series, please visit

Understanding the Brain in the Addictive Process

Understanding the Brain in the Addictive Process

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this chapter, the learner will be able to

  • describe two key brain pathways involved in the addictive process;
  • list at least one neurobiological aspect important for understanding the treatment of a substance use disorder; and
  • discuss the importance of the brain in understanding chemical and process addictions.

Knowledge: Enhanced Understanding and Brain Research

Addiction as a Brain Disorder

At no time in the history of substance abuse and addictions counseling has it been clearer about the role of the brain in addiction and what happens when individuals use mood-altering substances and the effects they have on the brain. We still have a long way to go to better understand the full spectrum of ...

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