Baron D, Blum K, Chen A, Gold M, Badgaiyan RD. Conceptualizing Addiction From an Osteopathic Perspective: Dopamine Homeostasis. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2018;118(2):115–118. doi: https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2018.026.
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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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