The addiction to legal and illegal drugs poses one of the most medically, socially and economically devastating public health problems facing modern society. Yet treating the addictions remains a challenge. Some important but unanswered questions are: What brain regions are exposed to the drug?
What neurochemical systems are changed in addiction? Are drugs of abuse toxic to nerve cells? Do drugs produce changes in the brain that account for the inability of the addicted individual to stop taking the drug? In this presentation we will highlight some of the insights on the effects of drugs of abuse on the human brain which have been gained through the use of brain imaging in human subjects.