Non-pharmacological factors that determine drug use and addiction

Ahmed, Serge H, Badiani, Aldo, Miczek, Klaus A and Müller, Christian P (2018) Non-pharmacological factors that determine drug use and addiction. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. ISSN 0149-7634

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB)


Based on their pharmacological properties, psychoactive drugs are supposed to take control of the natural reward system to finally drive compulsory drug seeking and consumption. However, psychoactive drugs are not used in an arbitrary way as pure pharmacological reinforcement would suggest, but rather in a highly specific manner depending on non-pharmacological factors. While pharmacological effects of psychoactive drugs are well studied, neurobiological mechanisms of non-pharmacological factors are less well understood. Here we review the emerging neurobiological mechanisms beyond pharmacological reinforcement which determine drug effects and use frequency. Important progress was made on the understanding of how the character of an environment and social stress determine drug self-administration. This is expanded by new evidence on how behavioral alternatives and opportunities for drug instrumentalization generate different patterns of drug choice. Emerging evidence suggests that the neurobiology of non-pharmacological factors strongly determines pharmacological and behavioral drug action and may, thus, give rise for an expanded system’s approach of psychoactive drug use and addiction.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Drug abuse; Drug addiction; Drug instrumentalization; Social stress; Environment
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2018 13:21
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2019 01:00

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update