Behavioral Pharmacology of Alcohol and Legal Psychostimulants
Substance abuse, including alcohol and psychostimulant abuse, is a widespread and dangerous public health issue. In the United States, 8–10% of people 12 years of age or older (accounting for 20–22 million persons) are addicted to alcohol or other drugs, and the results of substance abuse are costly at both the individual and society level. Despite the large financial burden of substance abuse to society, efficacious psychosocial and pharmacologic treatment options are lacking. For example, in the pharmacologic treatment of alcohol use disorders (AUD), only three drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and each have their own limitations that restrict efficacy and recovery outcomes. Here, the behavioral pharmacology of alcohol and psychostimulants is investigated using a variety of in vitro and in vivo techniques to better develop treatment options for AUD and to further our basic understanding of adolescent psychostimulant use. Overall, these studies provide significant progress towards the development of novel, functionally selective delta-opioid therapeutics for alcohol use disorder and also help elucidate the potential aversive behavioral outcomes of adolescent psychostimulant use.
van Rijn, Purdue University.
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