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Faulty oxytocin system may cause addiction susceptibility

Addictive behaviour, such as drug and alcohol abuse, could be a result of a poorly developed oxytocin system.

Dr Buisman-Pijlman looked what causes differences in peoples’ oxytocin systems by reviewing published studies on the subject. She also looked at the link between the oxytocin system and addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Dr Buisman-Pijlman believes that negative experiences as an infant or young child, such as stress or infection, may cause a person’s oxytocin system to develop poorly.

A poorly developed oxytocin system leads to less resilience to stress and increased susceptibility to addiction. Oxytocin has other important roles in enhancing social interactions, maternal behaviour and partnership.

Read more at University of Adelaide

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