NeuroBiological Understanding of Addictions will lead to new and more Effective Treatments.
> 12/3/2005 7:06:50 PM

I wanted to draw your attention to a focus journal on the most recent evolving research concerning the NeuroBiology of Addiction. Nature Neuroscience is providing the public free access to this edition through a generous grant from their sponsors, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, this focus will be freely available online through January 2006.

I will over the next few posts highlight some of data presented in this focus edition and their potential significance with regard to treatment of Addictions.

This edition is certainly mandatory reading for all clinicians treating addictions. The public will see an example of Psychiatry at it's best trying to chase down the fundamental brain disturbance which leads to and maintains a disease state, in this case, Addictions. The implications for society in general are enormous when you consider that

"The 2005 World Drug Report from the United Nations estimates that 200 million people, or 5% of the global population, consumed illicit drugs at least once in the last 12 months. The US Department of Health estimates that in 2004, 22.5 million Americans aged 12 or older (9.4% of the population) experienced substance dependence or abuse. During this period, about 21.1 million people needed but did not get treatment for their addiction in the US alone."

"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 crime.

We thank all those dedicated psychiatrists, many of whom I know and was involved with while researching earlier in my career. I know the painstaking efforts they have made to forward our understanding of the workings of the Brain and how slow progress can be. It is, however, the era of the Brain and these painstaking years are leading to a tipping point for Psychiatry that will cause an explosive exponential growth in our understanding of mental disorders and their treatment.

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