Study shows impact of social interactions on addictive behavior

A new study published in Nature Neuroscience finds that social interactions can have a profound effect on behaviors related to addiction, and on the brain’s response to drug-associated cues. These findings have implications for people with substance use disorders (SUDs), because it suggests that social interaction can change the activity of specific neuronal circuits that control drug craving and relapse. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by Dr. Marco Venniro from the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The researchers used established animal models of drug addiction to show that when given a choice, rats repeatedly chose social interaction over self-administration of heroin or methamphetamine. This held true even for rats that had previously been using heroin or methamphetamine in a “compulsive” way (like humans with an SUD).

Full story at drugabuse.gov

New consensus document for appropriate use of drug testing in clinical addiction medicine

A new Consensus Document from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) provides practical, evidence-based recommendations on the use of drug testing for identification, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of patients with or at risk for substance use disorders (SUDs). The document appears in the May/June issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of ASAM. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

“Drug testing is a valuable tool for supporting patients in addiction treatment, and this comprehensive set of recommendations should prove useful to providers in a variety of addiction treatment settings,” comments Margaret Jarvis, MD, DFASAM, Chair of ASAM’s Quality Improvement Council. The Consensus Document and supplemental digital content are available on Journal of Addiction Medicine and ASAM websites.

Full story of new drug testing for SUDs at Science Daily