How serotonin curbs cocaine addiction

Science Daily‘s article explores a study, conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Geneva, using a novel experimental method to understand mechanisms behind cocaine addiction. The article addressed, “Synaptic mechanism underlying serotonin modulation of transition to cocaine addiction,” includes research on the roles of neuroregulators, serotonin and dopamine, on stimulant addiction as their mechanisms influence behaviors. The methods are particularly intriguing.

To read Science Daily’s summary of the article click here.

To read the full scientific article click here.

My mother was all I had — besides the drugs

Katherine Haley’s piece, published in The Boston Globe, is a must-read. Her story gives goosebumps as she lets readers into her experience with addiction, and her journey sheds light on the importance of empowerment as individuals experience unique struggles that influence their journey with substance use disorders.

To read the full article click here.

Does giving money to people with substance use disorder ‘enable’ them? It’s complicated.

Alex Woodruff’s article, featuring our director of special projects and research at BMC’s OBAT program,  Alicia Ventura, offers a well-articulated perspective to a controversial topic.  Published in The Boston Globe, Woodruff’s article explores the harmful consequences of “cutting-off” loved ones and community members with substance use disorders from resources. As individuals choose to forgo compassion, investing in the cycles of stigma surrounding addiction, literature that broadens our perspective and education have never been more valuable. 

To read the full article click here.

Disparities in opioid overdose deaths continue to worsen for Black people, study suggests

The NIH’s article addresses racial disparities in treatment for opioid use disorder. The article is based on the National Institute of Health’s study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, with the aim of “emphasizing the need for equitable, data-driven, community-based interventions that address these disparities.” As social issues drive the disheartening levels of inequity, the need for acting on inclusive approaches to the opioid crisis are imperative. 

To read the NIH‘s article click here.
To read the study published in the American Journal of Public Health click here.

Beyond dopamine: New reward circuitry discovered

Science Daily’s article recaps the discovery of a new reward pathway, studied by Bruchas Lab at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Understanding the complex neuroscience behind psychiatric diseases requires further exploration of reward circuitry. The research explores beyond the mesolimbic dopamine system and evaluates the intricate mechanics of reward and reinforcement.

To read the Science Daily article click here.
To read the Nature Neuroscience journal publication click here.

National Recovery Month


NAADAC’s article on the message and theme of 2021’s Recovery Month is fitting to honor the occasion of September. This year, the “2021 Recovery Month observance will work to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.” The article also recognizes a celebration of National Addiction Professionals Day this September 20th. Follow links to NAADAC’s article, Faces and Voices of Recovery’s Recovery Month website, and the White House’s “Proclamation on National Recovery Month 2021.”

To read NAADAC’s article on Recovery Month click here.


To access Faces and Voices of Recovery‘s Recovery Month edition click here.

To read the White House’s “A Proclamation on National Recovery Month 2021” click here.


Many ERs Fail People Who Struggle With Addiction. These New Approaches Might Help

Aneri Pattani’s NPR article addresses how ERs inadequately recognize and treat individuals with substance use disorders and Pattani discusses potential solutions that are being implemented in hospitals around the country to combat shortcomings in care. The article draws attention to the lack of screening, prescribing medication, and follow-up care for substance use when patients are treated in emergency departments. Pattani investigates methods implemented by North Carolina, California and New York to help better serve ER patients with SUDs while discussing the perceived efficacy of the strategies being used.

To read the full article, click here.

Chronic Cocaine Use Changes Brain Structure and Cognitive Function in Rhesus Monkeys

Repeated brain imaging and cognitive performance tests in rhesus monkeys revealed structural and functional changes within the brain before and after chronic cocaine administration. The study was conducted by University of Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s Dr. Hank Jedema and colleagues and NIDA Intramural Research Program to address gaps in knowledge encompassing “cocaine-induced” changes, while also accounting for changes attributed to pre-existing conditions. The study conducted thorough investigations of baseline cognitive performance of rhesus monkeys, in conjunction with gray matter density analysis, before the administration of cocaine 4 days a week for a year. To identify changes in cognitive performance and grey matter density, subsequent weekly analysis was conducted throughout the study’s duration. NIDA’s article is an engaging read, invoking critical thought and intrigue.

To read the full article, click here.

No Change in Overall Rate of Alcohol, Drug Use Among Adolescents During Pandemic

A New Release article published by NIDA addresses changes in substance use among young adolescents, ages 10-14, throughout the pandemic. The survey, funded by NIDA, was conducted between September 2019 to August 2020. The article delves deeper into trends in adolescent’s use of specific substances by referencing findings from a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Nonetheless, the research conducted yields surprising results among youth in the United States.

To read the full article, click here.

How Trauma-Informed Care Is Transforming Addiction Treatment

Psychology Today’s article defines and explores the impact trauma-informed care (TIC) has on addiction medicine. Adverse childhood experiences and traumatic life experiences are related to risks of developing substance use disorders, mental health disorders, and physical health conditions. The article engages readers to explore TIC as a necessary aspect in understanding the complexity of patient treatment in addiction medicine.

To read the full article, click here.