Neuroscience

Mysterious brain structure sheds light on drug addiction

Do you remember where you were when you first heard that two planes had crashed into New York's Twin Towers? Or where you had your first kiss? Our brains are wired to retain information that relates to the context in which ...

Addiction

Pandemic leads to rise in Canada fatal drug overdoses

A homeless Canadian with a drug addiction, Luc Laplante has lost three friends—Dave, Emily and Pat—to opioid overdoses in the last three months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Addiction

Why COVID-19 could make the overdose epidemic worse

When Alberta's chief medical officer, Deena Hinshaw, announced special exemptions to COVID-19 regulations for group therapy in residential addiction treatment centres, it was exactly what University of Alberta addictions ...

Medical research

Gut microbes influence how rat brains react to opioids

When Sierra Simpson was in college, she was sick for a year with recurring fevers and vomiting. Her doctors couldn't figure out what she had. Suspecting a bacterial infection, they tried treating her with high doses of antibiotics.

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Drug addiction

Drug addiction is a pathological condition. The disorder of addiction involves the progression of acute drug use to the development of drug-seeking behavior, the vulnerability to relapse, and the decreased, slowed ability to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) has categorized three stages of addiction: preoccupation/anticipation, binge/intoxication, and withdrawal/negative affect. These stages are characterized, respectively, everywhere by constant cravings and preoccupation with obtaining the substance; using more of the substance than necessary to experience the intoxicating effects; and experiencing tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and decreased motivation for normal life activities. By the American Society of Addiction Medicine definition, drug addiction differs from drug dependence and drug tolerance.

It is, both among scientists and other writers, quite usual to allow the concept of drug addiction to include persons who are not drug abusers according to the definition of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The term drug addiction is then used as a category which may include the same persons who under the DSM-IV can be given the diagnosis of substance dependence or substance abuse. (See also DSM-IV Codes)

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