Back to Journals » Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation » Volume 4

The neurocircuitry of illicit psychostimulant addiction: acute and chronic effects in humans

Authors Taylor, Lewis, Olive F

Received 29 October 2012

Accepted for publication 17 December 2012

Published 8 February 2013 Volume 2013:4 Pages 29—43


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Sara B Taylor,1 Candace R Lewis,1 M Foster Olive1,2

1Program in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Abstract: Illicit psychostimulant addiction remains a significant problem worldwide, despite decades of research into the neural underpinnings and various treatment approaches. The purpose of this review is to provide a succinct overview of the neurocircuitry involved in drug addiction, as well as the acute and chronic effects of cocaine and amphetamines within this circuitry in humans. Investigational pharmacological treatments for illicit psychostimulant addiction are also reviewed. Our current knowledge base clearly demonstrates that illicit psychostimulants produce lasting adaptive neural and behavioral changes that contribute to the progression and maintenance of addiction. However, attempts at generating pharmacological treatments for psychostimulant addiction have historically focused on intervening at the level of the acute effects of these drugs. The lack of approved pharmacological treatments for psychostimulant addiction highlights the need for new treatment strategies, especially those that prevent or ameliorate the adaptive neural, cognitive, and behavioral changes caused by chronic use of this class of illicit drugs.

Keywords: substance abuse, pharmacotherapy, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, addiction, human

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Readers of this article also read:

Molecular targets in arthritis and recent trends in nanotherapy

Roy K, Kanwar RK, Kanwar JR

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015, 10:5407-5420

Published Date: 26 August 2015

Comparative efficacy and safety of local and systemic methotrexate injection in cesarean scar pregnancy

Peng P, Gui T, Liu X, Chen W, Liu Z

Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 2015, 11:137-142

Published Date: 27 January 2015

Is increasing the dose of Entecavir effective in partial virological responders?

Erturk A, Adnan Akdogan R, Parlak E, Cure E, Cumhur Cure M, Ozturk C

Drug Design, Development and Therapy 2014, 8:621-625

Published Date: 29 May 2014

Controlled-release approaches towards the chemotherapy of tuberculosis

Saifullah B, Hussein MZ, Hussein Al Ali SH

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5451-5463

Published Date: 12 October 2012

Treatment of acute otitis externa with ciprofloxacin otic 0.2% antibiotic ear solution

Mösges R, Nematian-Samani M, Eichel A

Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 2011, 7:325-326

Published Date: 27 July 2011