[ExI] addiction and alcohol

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sat May 2 00:26:16 UTC 2015

On Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 5:00 AM,  Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>


> Getting old and weak is maladaptive, but evolution has not eliminated
> ageing because people reproduce before age affects their ability to do
> so. It could be the same with addiction.

Possible I suppose.

On the other hand, drug addiction, particularly to opiates and alcohol
declines with age.  I think the reason is that the brain reward
systems are strongly connected to reproductive success.  When people
get old and the need for brain rewards for activities that contribute
to early reproductive success falls, so does the intensity of the drug
or cult rewards.  Old junkies and old alcoholics often quit in their
mid 40s.

Cults mess with the brain reward system as well as drugs and to some
extent older people sometimes do get out of cults.  But it's not
mechanistic.  Some people stay with the scientology cult until they
get old and feeble.  Then the cult sets them out on the curb with a
bag containing their meager possessions.


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