The neuroscience of addiction

  title={The neuroscience of addiction},
  author={Nora D. Volkow and Ting-kai Li},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
The burden of substance abuse and addiction to society is enormous, with an estimated annual economic impact in the United States of approximately half a trillion dollars arising from medical consequences, loss of productivity, accidents and crime1. The impact of drugs and alcohol on children is particularly problematic, as adolescents are significantly more vulnerable than adults to substance abuse and to addiction2. Also, because many of the molecular targets affected by drugs are involved… 

Justice System: Improving Public Health and Safety Treating Drug Abuse and Addiction in the Criminal

Contact me when new articles are published in these topic areas. T HE PAST 20 YEARS HAVE SEEN significant increases in the numbers of individuals incarcerated or under other forms of criminal justice

Food Addiction: An Examination of the Diagnostic Criteria for Dependence

The current state of food addiction research is reviewed in the context of each of the diagnostic criterion for dependence (ie, tolerance, withdrawal, loss of control) and other relevant addiction topics such as expectancies, reinforcement, and incentive salience are briefly explored.

Food Addiction in the Light of DSM-5

If and how the new SUD criteria for substance dependence may be translated to overeating will impact future research on food addiction, and if “diagnosing” food addiction should also be adapted by considering all of the new symptoms.

From Impulse-Control Disorders Toward Behavioral Addictions

In the last 20 years, research on substance addictions has changed its focus from the social foundations to the neurobiological foundations. Hence, some behaviors have begun to be considered as

Addiction circuitry in the human brain.

Imaging studies suggest that individual variations in key dopamine-modulated brain circuits, including circuits involved in reward, memory, executive function, and motivation, contribute to some of the differences in addiction vulnerability.

Neuropharmacology of addiction

Dysfunction of the neural circuitry of reward and motivated behaviour may be the neural substrate for the development and maintenance of addiction.

Obesity and addiction: neurobiological overlaps

The combined results suggest that both obese and drug‐addicted individuals suffer from impairments in dopaminergic pathways that regulate neuronal systems associated not only with reward sensitivity and incentive motivation, but also with conditioning, self‐control, stress reactivity and interoceptive awareness.

The Primacy of Cognition in the Manifestations of Substance Use Disorders

It is suggested that cognitive consequences of illicit drugs play primary roles in the maintenance of addiction across several classes of abusedsubstances.



Windows of vulnerability to psychopathology and therapeutic strategy in the adolescent rodent model

Modelling the adolescent phase in rats and mice appears to be useful for the investigation of determinants of vulnerability to addiction and to other early-onset neuropsychiatric disorders.

Addiction, a disease of compulsion and drive: involvement of the orbitofrontal cortex.

It is implied that pleasure per se is not enough to maintain compulsive drug administration in the drugaddicted subject and that drugs that could interfere with the activation of the striato-thalamo-orbitofrontal circuit could be beneficial in the treatment of drug addiction.

Drug use and the risk of major depressive disorder, alcohol dependence, and substance use disorders.

The results suggest that early drug use is associated with and predicts later psychiatric disorders and preventive implications stem from the importance of studying a range of psychiatric disorders in the context of substance use assessed over a wide age range.

The genetics of addictions: uncovering the genes

The addictions are common chronic psychiatric diseases that today are prevented and treated using relatively untargeted and only partially effective methods, but future understanding of addictions will be enhanced by the identification of genes that have a role in altered substance-specific vulnerabilities such as variation in drug metabolism or drug receptors.

Risk Taking and Novelty Seeking in Adolescence: Introduction to Part I

Investigation of mammalian animal models of adolescence—such as those examining impulsivity, reward sensitivity, and decision making—may also provide new opportunities for addressing the problem of adolescent vulnerability.

Genetic contributions to addiction.

  • J. Crabbe
  • Biology, Psychology
    Annual review of psychology
  • 2002
This review selects drug dependence as a paradigmatic addiction, and concentrates on the extensive literature with genetic animal models, both traditional studies with inbred strains and selected lines and studies exploiting the new molecularly based technologies of the genomics era are discussed.

Stress enhancement of craving during sobriety: a risk for relapse.

Evidence linking stress during sobriety to craving that increases the risk for relapse is provided, and novel pharmacological approaches for treating relapse induced by stress are suggested.

Social dominance in monkeys: dopamine D2 receptors and cocaine self-administration

PET imaging data demonstrate that alterations in an organism's environment can produce profound biological changes that have important behavioral associations, including vulnerability to cocaine addiction.

Association between Early Onset of Cigarette, Alcohol and Cannabis Use and Later Drug Use Patterns: An Analysis of a Survey in European Metropolises

Early use of alcohol, according to this data, does not seem to be related to subsequent heavy drug use and early onset cannabis users show increasing probabilities of heavy use patterns.