The Latest Development in Drug Addiction and Recovery Studies

By | April 8, 2013

substance-abuse-treatmentFor those who aren’t aware, the concept of drug rehabilitation refers to the different kind of therapeutic treatments against the dependency on various substances collectively termed as psychoactive. Among the main compounds and substances that are associated with drug addiction behavior include alcohol, street and prescription drugs.

The street drugs can be further divided into types including heroine, amphetamines and cocaine. The scope of drug recovery is to decrease and eventually eradicate the addict’s dependency on the substance and return them to an acceptable social life.

Latest Research

Experiments are regularly carried out for our medical future. Science and research of drug addiction and recovery have expanded with the better molecular understanding of the mechanism. Previously, the concept of stimulation and modification of neurotransmitters had been attributed to the drug behavior, but now there has been more research on how the genetic and molecular behavior of cells is changed due to drug behavior.

Cell Signaling and Incentive Sensitization

Using different animal models as well as cell lines, it has been shown that drugs and addictive substances when ingested proceed to cause a behavior which is known as “incentive sensitization”. There has been study as to how the cell signaling mechanism is modified with the increased need for drug associated stimuli.

Epigenetic modification

A more recent research that has been carried out has shown that when these substances become part of the blood stream, they can induce histone acetylation. The histones in the cells are associated with the chromatin modeling and packing of the chromosomes. When this happens, then the gene expression is affected. This has been correlated with the maintenance of the addicted state through change in cell signaling pathways. This epigenetic modification has been deemed as a point of interest in understanding the drug addiction response and possible recovery methods too.

Latest Research in Treatment of Drug Addiction

While the drug seeking behavior is known for its social and physical causes, there has been general lack of study on how the genetic, immune and cellular response is mediated. For example, centers offering best drug rehabilitation in Manistee and other cities in U.S are looking forth for the use of molecular medicine against drug addiction. The conventional rehab programs are doing their jobs, but there is room for speeding up the process of recovery.

Understanding Neuron Impairment

In recent researches that are being carried out with the help of US Department of Health and Human services, the focus is on the recovery of brain neuron circuits which have been altered due to excessive drug/substance abuse. This study is important from the point of view for addicts in which conventional therapy doesn’t work.

Use of Nanoparticles

Nanotechnology is also being seen as a latest avenue of hope against drug addiction. There has been the issue that addicts can revert to substance abuse. Research that has been carried out in University of Buffalo indicates that nanoparticles can be used to induce long term recovery.

Molecular understanding of the brain cells has shown that a brain protein which is known as DARPP 32 is responsible for receiving signals for drug addiction. The premise being implied is that nanoparticles can be used to inhibit the activity of this protein. When this happens, the chances of reversion of drug behavior can be greatly reduced.

RNAi treatment

Another latest avenue of research is the usage of RNA interference technology for inhibiting those cellular proteins from being formed that can mediate the drug addiction response. While this is in clinical trials, it is seen as a major prospect.


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