July 15, 2023 – These individual differences in neuronal sensitivity may have implications for understanding addiction susceptibility and developing personalized treatments or preventive measures. The new findings have been published in the journal Addiction Neuroscience.

The researchers conducted this study to investigate why only a subset of individuals who try drugs like cocaine develop problematic use and addiction. They aimed to understand the underlying differences in neuronal processing that predict drug abuse vulnerability, which could potentially improve addiction prevention and treatment strategies.

“Substance use disorders continue to be a major public health problem, and we saw an even greater uptick in substance abuse and overdose deaths starting in 2020,” said study author David J. Barker, an assistant professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.