For some people, medicine can ease the pain, be it for something as basic as a cold, or for something major, like post-surgery complications. But what about a broken heart? Can drugs fix that? According to neuro-ethicist Brian D. Earp, all signs point to yes.
In an interview with NewScientist, Earp suggests that love, like a drug, can be an addiction.
“Recent brain studies show extensive parallels between the effects of certain addictive drugs and experiences of being in love,” he says. “Both activate the brain’s reward system, can overwhelm us so that we forget about other things and can inspire withdrawal when they are no longer available.”
Which leads us to breakups. Earp admits that treating someone addicted to a bad relationship is something to be “very cautious about” and wouldn’t recommend “forcing drug-based treatment on someone against their will.” “Non-biochemical interventions” should be the first step. Well yes.
So Earp does acknowledge that the old-fashioned ways to get over someone should still be tried first, be it keeping your distance, no more Facebook-stalking, or actual stalking. But if that’s not enough and the suffering prevails, anti-love drugs could help alleviate the pain.
Keep in mind, this isn’t suggested for teenyboppers going through a rough split. Rather, it’s for those who need to get out of toxic or abusive relationships but can’t seem to shake their ex and break that emotional attachment.
The drug works differently for everyone. Earp suggests that those who have decided that they value a life-long, monogamous relationship, should maybe be managing “their psychobiology instead – using drugs that enhance attraction rather than diminish it.”
He adds: “Maybe sometimes we don’t need a cure for love – we need to give it a helping hand.”