Discusses the central importance of studying drugs' effects on neurotransmission and describes some of the most common experimental methods used in this research.
Presents highlights of a study indicating that exposure to morphine during adolescence may increase sensitivity to the drug during adulthood.
October 2007 Reports on two studies indicating that orexin, a neuropeptide that stimulates eating and regulates wakefulness, also fosters animals' drug seeking and craving responses to drugs.
Reports on research showing that the neurons that deliver dopamine to two regions of the brain's mesolimbic reward system respond differently to opioids, an important finding for drug treatment research.
Reports on results from a study showing that men and women with alcohol use disorders are more likely to report nonmedical use of prescription drugs than people who don't drink at all.
March 2008 Summarizes research on the effects of long-term regular cocaine abuse on the cardiovascular system in African Americans.
Describes the work of researchers who have found a statistical link between one region on chromosome 17 and an increased risk of opioid dependence.
Describes a study showing that cocaine, which increases dopamine levels, also can tap into an intracellular dopamine reserve pool.
Discusses the role of epigenetics, the study of cellular mechanisms that control gene expression and its impacts on health and behavior, in addiction research.
Describes a new chemical tracer that binds specifically to cannabinoid receptors making it potentially useful in future research to clarify the relationship between the receptors and drug abuse.