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NIDA

Mental Health

Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses

Introduces a report that focuses on the topic of comorbid drug use disorders and other mental illnesses, a research priority for NIDA.

Published: December 2008
Revised: September 2010

Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Disorders

What Is Comorbidity?

The term “comorbidity” describes two or more disorders or illnesses occurring in the same person. They can occur at the same time or one after the other. Comorbidity also implies interactions between the illnesses that can worsen the course of both.

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

Provides scientific information about the disease of drug addiction, including the many harmful consequences of drug abuse and the basic approaches that have been developed to prevent and treat the disease.

Published: April 2007
Revised: July 2014

Training Workshops Boost Approval of Contingency Management

Clinicians associated with the Veterans Administration looked more favorably upon contingency management after attending training workshops on the use of the intervention. Despite being highly effective at decreasing drug use, contingency management is one of the least used among proven substance abuse treatments.

Mental Health

Brief Description

Many people who are addicted to drugs are also diagnosed with other mental disorders, including anxiety and depression. Some people develop mental health problems related to their compulsive drug use, and some people take drugs in an attempt to alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders. Whatever symptoms appear first, it is important to treat all mental illnesses at the same time. This section provides resources for mental illnesses beyond addiction.

Regular marijuana users may have impaired brain reward centers

New research shows that regular marijuana users show impairments in the brain’s ability to respond to dopamine – a brain chemical that is involved in reward, among other functions.


Dr. Joni Rutter Q&A: How Basic Science Is Tackling Addiction

One of NIDA’s goals is to try to understand the individual differences that contribute to whether or not someone who takes a drug will become addicted to it. Dr. Rutter’s research focuses on three types of differences: Environmental, developmental, and genetic and epigenetic.

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