Social deprivation, coping and drugs: a bad cocktail in the COVID-19 era: evidence from preclinical studies – Dr. David Belin

December 8, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
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Arielle Bennett-Lovell

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The factors that underlie an individual’s vulnerability to switch from controlled, recreational drug use to addiction are not well understood. I will discuss the evidence in rats that in individuals housed in enriched conditions, the experience of drugs in the relative social and sensory impoverishment of the drug taking context, and the associated change in behavioural traits of resilience to addiction, exacerbate the vulnerability to develop compulsive drug intake. I will further discuss the importance of the acquisition of alcohol drinking as a mechanism to cope with distress as a factor of exacerbated vulnerability to develop compulsive alcohol intake. Together these results demonstrate that experiential factors in the drug taking context, which can be substantially driven by social isolation, shape the vulnerability to addiction.

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