Brain Imaging for Addiction

Brain Imaging for Addiction

Last updated on 28 Sep, 2022

The best addiction treatment is generally those that offer holistic analysis. Such treatments take the individual as a whole rather than focusing solely on the symptoms of addiction. It means treatments must view addiction through multiple lenses. In this regard, brain imaging techniques provide an overall and in-depth addiction analysis. This method allows for better addressing of the addiction treatment approach.

Brain Imaging Techniques |Clinical Applications

brain imaging technique

While the brain plays an active role in addiction, everyone may not understand the need for such an in-depth tool. The detailed information is why SPECT scans on alcoholic brains are common instead of other brain imaging tools such as MRI. Most brain imaging technique scans will provide information about what the brain looks like and which part functions. Instead, SPECT imaging shows in detail not what works but rather how. Just because a part of the brain is healthy does not mean it functions similarly to another person’s brain. Certain areas of the brain may be underused or overused. They may respond slower or faster than other areas. 

Brain imaging will show how the brain reacts to various activities or sources of stimulation, which will tell more about how one may operate in day-to-day life. It, therefore, helps to monitor and address specific addiction treatments. Moreover, depending on the results of these brain imaging techniques, most physicians recommend Dual Diagnosis Rehab for addiction, Behaviour Therapy, and other drug addiction programs.

Efficacy of Brain Imaging for Drug Addiction

Addiction is a disease that makes a person unable to resist taking substances. With the advent of science and technology, it has been possible to address such addictions and prescribe specific and customized treatments. 

Addiction alters brain physiology. The prefrontal cortex shows significant changes due to dependence. Brain scans of drug addicts help to deduce the necessary assistance and thereby have been an effective method for recovery.

How can Brain Scans assist for Recovering Addicts?

Below are the ways brain scans can help with addictions:

  • This technique shows clarity in brain imaging about the toxicity and exposure due to substance abuse. 

  • Brain scans show the daily effect on the brain of substances like caffeine, sugar, etc.

  • Brain imaging techniques help to indicate the several types of addictions. They are compulsive addicts, impulsive addicts, impulsive-compulsive addicts, emotional addicts, anxious addicts, and temporal lobe addicts.

  • It removes pre-assumptions. Brain imaging has made it possible to remove shame and stigma by proving that addiction can also be due to brain disorders.

  • Imaging also helps addicts to realize their issues and the dangers habit-formation inflicts on the brain, which can motivate addicts to recover and attain sobriety.

  • Support from family is one of the treatments an addict requires for a speedy recovery. Imaging techniques help the family confirm that addiction can be due to brain conditions, making them support the patient rather than blaming each other.

  • This technique addresses co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, etc.

  • One of the main advantages of modern brain imaging techniques is that they may aid in drug recovery by showing the treatment progress and motivating them.

Limitations of brain scan technique for addiction

Although brain imaging studies of cocaine-abusing or dependent individuals have found it a very effective measure for aiding recovery, such techniques have certain limitations.

  • Brain imaging tests are expensive and might not be affordable for everyone.

  • The brain imaging technique may not be suitable for patients with metal implants and pacemakers.

  • The technique is sensitive to physical movements and requires the patient to stay still. It is, therefore, unsuitable for uncooperative patients.

  • The imaging technique might require radioactive tracer injection, which is risky.

  • Patients with claustrophobia might find it difficult during the process.

Moreover, brain imaging techniques are limited to addiction detection and determining how to repair your brain after drug use with specific individual treatment concentrations. This technique does not address one of the most crucial aspects of habit-formation recovery: relapse. The need for relapse prevention is the base for recovering completely. 

Armodafinil 150 mg is a specific medication for addiction treatment, along with helping monitor relapse. The Nootropic is advisable by health experts for its efficacy in combating relapse. It helps by decreasing the craving for addictive substances and lowers the chances of deteriorating the existing condition. Thus helping achieve better focus and dedication towards abstinence from addiction. The FDA approves using the Nootropic, and one can safely order Armodafinil in the USA from Healthmatter.


Yes, brain scans can provide images of the toxicity and damage inflicted on the brain. It can compare the addicted brain vs. the normal brain and can help devise necessary addiction treatments.

The reward center of the brain, called the mesolimbic dopamine pathway, is the part responsible for habit formation. The simultaneous release of dopamine and cortisol creates the compulsion cycle that urges substance use.

Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, or SPECT, has been an effective method of detecting psychiatric disorders. It provides a 3D map demonstrating the flow of blood and the functioning of the organs.


Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of Healthma are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.