Special Communication  |   February 2018
Conceptualizing Addiction From an Osteopathic Perspective: Dopamine Homeostasis
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Psychiatry (Drs Baron, Blum, and Gold) in the Keck School of Medicine (Student Doctor Chen) at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles; the Department of Psychiatry at Wright State University's Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio (Dr Blum); the Department of Psychiatry and McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville (Dr Blum); the Institute of Psychology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary (Dr Blum); the Department of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri (Dr Gold); and the Department of Psychiatry at the Ichan School of Medicine in New York, New York (Dr Badgaiyan). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Dave Baron, MSEd, DO, 1935 Glen Allen Ln, Altadena, CA 91001-2158. Email: dave.baron@usc.edu
     
Article Information
Addiction Medicine / Being a DO
Special Communication   |   February 2018
Conceptualizing Addiction From an Osteopathic Perspective: Dopamine Homeostasis
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2018, Vol. 118, 115-118. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.026
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2018, Vol. 118, 115-118. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.026
Abstract

Addiction is a public health crisis in the United States. Understanding the cause and providing effective treatment for patients—in particular, those with substance use disorders—is challenging. Research has demonstrated that addiction is not a flaw in one's moral fiber or a disease of choice; rather, it is driven by alterations in neuronal mechanisms, especially those that involve the neurotransmitter dopamine, which plays a critical role in the brain's reward pathway. Much of osteopathic philosophy is based on the concept of total body homeostasis and allostasis. This article discusses the role of achieving dopamine homeostasis as part of a comprehensive biopsychosocial treatment strategy in the effective management of addiction. The authors aim to motivate osteopathic primary care physicians to incorporate osteopathic philosophy into the treatment of patients with substance use disorders.

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