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The Neuroscientific Basis for Aesthetic Preference as an Intervention for Drug Craving Associated with Addiction | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-6105

Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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Review Article

The Neuroscientific Basis for Aesthetic Preference as an Intervention for Drug Craving Associated with Addiction

Walter S Mathis*

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas, United States

Corresponding Author:
Walter Mathis
Resident Psychiatrist, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 W. Markham St. Slot #589, Little Rock, AR 72205
Tel: 501 680-7826
Fax: 501 526-8198
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: February 10, 2015; Accepted date: March 20, 2015; Published date: March 25, 2015

Citation: Mathis WS (2015) The Neuroscientific Basis for Aesthetic Preference as an Intervention for Drug Craving Associated with Addiction. J Addict Res Ther 2015 6:213. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000213

Copyright: © 2014 Mathis WS. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Substance Use Disorders remain a costly and dangerous illness despite decades of focused research and a sophisticated understanding of the mechanisms of acute and chronic use in the brain. It is clear that available therapies have only partial efficacy and effort should be made to translate a growing neuroscience understanding to improved therapeutic interventions. Compelling evidence suggests that the acute reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse are due to increased dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, a brain mechanism associated with the processing of reward and saliency. But, with chronic drug use, select elements of striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission (receptors, transports, enzymes) are down-regulated, rendering a hypodopaminergic state when not augmented by drug use. This state contributes to drug craving, seeking, and ultimately relapse. Hence it is a target for relapse prevention. Recently it has been confirmed that listening to highly pleasurable music can induce not only a strong psychophysiologic response, but also dopamine release in the same neurocircuits as drugs of abuse. Hypothetically this effect of music could have therapeutic potential as an inducer of dopamine release that might ameliorate the hypodopaminergic state of the abstinent addict as a form of agonist substitution. However, a thorough review of the literature found no clinical trials assessing this potential therapeutic effect. Obstacles for consideration in such a trial are also discussed.