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Islamabad ISB Rehab Clinic has given consideration to speaking something about impulsivity in drug addiction too, which is a tendency to act without thinking. Impulsive behavior is an integral part of the development and maintenance of drug addiction.

Impulsivity in drug addiction

A small percentage of adults fail to mature from drug use and go on to develop a more severe pattern of drug use, resulting in full-blown substance use disorders in middle-to-older adulthood. The UPPS-P impulsive behavior scale is a multidimensional scale that is a self-reported assessment of impulsive behavior-related personality traits in humans.

It measures five separate, though related traits: negative urgency, i.e. (the tendency to act rashly in response to negative emotions), positive urgency, i.e. (the tendency to act rashly in response to positive emotions), lack of premeditation, i.e. (the tendency to act without thinking of consequences), lack of perseverance, i.e. (the inability to remain focused on and complete a task), and sensation seeking, i.e. (the tendency to seek new and exciting activities). One can say that impulsivity in drug addiction comes in early stages.

impulsivity in drug addiction
impulsivity in drug addiction

The UPPS-P is a widely used measure that shows strong and reliable links between drug use and age.
Delay discounting describes the tendency to choose an immediate smaller reward and a later larger reward. Drug users tend to prefer an immediate smaller reward over a later larger reward. The smaller reward is the “high,” while the later large reward is “health,” family relationship.

Prepotent response inhibition is a behavioral measure of impulsive behavior that assesses the ability to suppress an automatic goal response to appropriately respond to a less automatic goal. Young-to-middle adult samples show a more consistent relationship between prepotent response inhibition tasks and drug use.

Delay discounting tasks focus on decisions involving affective and motivational processing that recruit regions of the reward pathway. The prepotent response inhibition task reflects decisions related to cognitive processing that recruit frontal brain regions and impulsive behavior traits are underpinned by both systems at different levels depending on the trait involved.

Impulsive personality traits in humans change with age. There is a lot of evidence that these traits become more unstable during adolescence. This could be because of changes in brain development during this time.

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The author works for a top rehab center in Pakistan .