Stages and Pathways of Drug Involvement: Examining the Gateway Hypothesis

By Denise B. Kandel | Go to book overview

15
Neurobiology of Drug Addiction
George F. Koob

Major advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of addiction have been made and have important implications for a biological component of a Gateway Hypothesis of drug addiction vulnerability. The present chapter explores the conceptual framework and animal models that guide neurobiological research in addiction and reviews these neurobiological mechanisms for different components of the addiction process. Neurobiological mechanisms for the positive reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, the negative reinforcement associated with drug dependence, and the neurobiological substates of craving are discussed. The focus is on neurobiological elements common to all major drugs of abuse that inform the Gateway Hypothesis from a biological perspective. Activation of certain neurochemical systems contributing to the acute reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse and activation of brain stress systems during acute withdrawal, in a common brain circuitry, may be common neurobiological mechanisms that have implications for the Gateway Hypothesis of the development of drug addiction.


Drug Addiction and Animal Models

Drug addiction is a chronically relapsing disorder that can be defined as a compulsion to take a drug with loss of control over drug

This is publication number 11295-NP from The Scripps Research Institute. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants AA06420 and AA08459 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and DA04043, DA04398, and DA08467 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The author would like to thank Mike Arends for his assistance with the preparation of this chapter.

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