Given the choice, zebrafish willingly dose themselves with opioids

As the opioid crisis escalates, the science behind addiction remains poorly understood. To address this need, researchers at University of Utah Health devised a system that allowed zebrafish, a small tropical fish, to self-administer doses of hydrocodone, an opioid commonly prescribed to people for pain. After one-week, the fish had increased their drug-seeking behavior, even when doing so required them to put themselves in risky conditions. Further, 48-hours after the last exposure, conditioned fish showed signs of anxiety, a hallmark of withdrawal.

Published August 25 online in the journalĀ Behavioral Brain Research, this study offers a new approach to explore the biological pathways behind addiction and withdrawal that could lead to new therapies to treat dependence.

Full story at Science Daily

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.