On Mourning and Recovery: Integrating Stages of Grief and Change Toward a Neuroscience-Based Model of Attachment Adaptation in Addiction Treatment
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Interpersonal attachment and drug addiction share many attributes across their behavioral and neurobiological domains. Understanding the overlapping brain circuitry of attachment formation and addiction illuminates a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of trauma-related mental illnesses and comorbid substance use disorders, and the extent to which ending an addiction is complicated by being a sort of mourning process. Attention to the process of addiction recovery—as a form of grieving—in which Kubler-Ross's stages of grief and Prochaska's stages of change are ultimately describing complementary viewpoints on a general process of neural network and attachment remodeling, could lead to more effective and integrative psychotherapy and medication strategies.