Aging and the neurobiology of addiction

Paul J. Christo, Greg Hobelmann, Amit Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Addiction often results from using controlled (monitored by the Drug Enforcement Agency) or illicit substances to produce pleasure or to dissociate from the consequences of life's events. Current evidence suggests that the addictive disease process stems from biogenetic predisposition, individual psychological profile, sociocultural influences, and drug exposure. Drug addiction places a significant burden on society due to its detrimental impact on health and its disturbance of social interactions in professional and personal contexts.. The prevalence of addictive disorders in the pain population remains unknown, and substance abuse and addiction in older adults is underestimated and poorly understood. By virtue of their disease states, older adults consume drugs of abuse at higher rates and, therefore, may be at increased risk of addiction. Few publications clarify the magnitude of the problem or suggest methods of prevention or treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalGeriatrics and Aging
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • Addiction
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Chronic pain
  • Opioids
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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