The treatment of addiction

Adrian Nicholas Carter, Wayne Dallas Hall, David J Nutt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Other


Neuroscience research is uncovering the neurochemical mechanisms that produce the behavioural and cognitive problems observed in those with an addiction. This includes: the pharmacological sites at which drugs act (e.g. receptors); the neurochemicals involved in the metabolism (e.g. enzymes) and trafficking of drugs (e.g. transporters) that regulate their activity within the brain; and the molecular changes that occur in the brain as a result of continuous use of addictive drugs over long periods of time (see Chapter 2). As our understanding of addiction deepens and becomes more detailed, it opens up the possibility for a wider range of powerful new technologies to treat and, more controversially, to prevent addiction. Because the neurobiological changes underpinning addiction can vary between individuals and over time, neuroscience may allow clinicians to target new treatments to the most appropriate individuals and at the most appropriate times.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAddiction neurobiology: Ethical and social implications
EditorsAdrian Carter, Benjamin Capps, Wayne Hall
Place of PublicationLuxembourg
Pages53 - 68
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9789291683475
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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