Opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and is responsible for more than 40,000 overdose deaths each year. Avoidance of withdrawal and drug-associated cues are key deterrents to voluntary abstinence in humans. By studying the neural circuits responsible for motivating avoidance of physical and emotional pain, as well as those that process drug-cues, we may be able to produce targeted pharmacotherapies or genetic therapies that reduce the likelihood of opioid relapse in humans. A reduction withdrawal avoidance or cue sensitivity will make it easier for those suffering from opioid use disorder to remain abstinent.
June 15, 2021 — May 1, 2022
Substance use disorders/misuse