This entry provides a general overview of the neurobiology of addiction including (a) background information regarding the state of the field, (b) information regarding the specific neuroimaging techniques and methods used to study addiction in humans, and (c) information about the specific neuroanatomical circuitry and neurochemical changes involved in addiction. Potential risk factors for addiction, implications for addiction treatment, and directions for future work are discussed.


Drug addiction is a process defined by uncontrollable, compulsive drug seeking and use, which persists despite negative health and social consequences. Although addiction is complex, there is consensus on several established principles. First, while sustained exposure to drugs of abuse is a necessary prerequisite for drug addiction, addiction is also influenced by biological and environmental factors, as well as the ...

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