Aug. 3, 2022 – The term consciously mimics “prediabetes,” a now-accepted term to describe people with higher-than-normal blood sugar levels and who are at high risk of developing diabetes. The “prediabetes” designation has allowed resources and interventions to be targeted to this earlier stage of the condition, when it is easier and less expensive to treat.

That’s exactly the goal that Volkow & Co. have in mind with pre-addiction. Here’s how she explains it in a recent commentary in JAMA Psychiatry: “The term ‘pre-addiction’ gives a readily understandable name to a vulnerable period of time in which preventive care could help avert serious consequences of drug use and severe substance use disorders.”

Volkow compares this to other conditions: “It is now standard to monitor risk factors like cholesterol, blood pressure, and BMI during routine checkups, so that steps can be taken to avert heart attacks or stroke through some combination of lifestyle changes and medications.”


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