Saturday, January 15, 2011

So, how are you doing with that New Year’s Resolution?

It's two weeks into the new year and many of those who made “New Year’s Resolutions” are breaking them about now.  Surveys indicate that the most popular resolutions include appetitive disorders CPDD members study such as smoking, drinking, and eating disorders.

Little research has been published on outcomes for those making New Year’s Resolutions, but one study that is almost 10 years old suggests that while making resolutions can be effective, people tend to break their resolutions quickly.

Another study reported that within 1 month, more than 65% of people who made a quit smoking resolution in conjunction with either New Year’s Day or the Great American Smokeout had resumed smoking, although some people can relapse more quickly.

Recently, NIDA Director Nora Volkow was interviewed on this topic and commented that reward systems in our brain involving dopamine signaling get in the way of our intentions to break certain habits.  She even revealed that she personally has a problem resisting popcorn when she goes to the movies.

The good news is that effective treatments exist for smoking, drinking, and other appetitive disorders (options are described on the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) websites) that are more effective than personal resolutions. However, existing treatments for smoking and alcohol use disorders are associated with high relapse rates.  This underscores the need for more research into improving treatment options for these and other appetitive disorders.

CPDDBLOG welcomes CPDD member’s thoughts on this issue.

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