Sustained exposure to various psychological stressors can exacerbate neuropsychiatric disorders, including drug addiction. Addiction is a chronic brain disease in which individuals cannot control their need for drugs, despite negative health and social consequences. The brains of addicted individuals are altered and respond very differently to stress than those of individuals who are not addicted. In this Review, we highlight some of the common effects of stress and drugs of abuse throughout the addiction cycle. We also discuss both animal and human studies that suggest treating the stress-related aspects of drug addiction is likely to be an important contributing factor to a long-lasting recovery from this disorder.
Jessica N. Cleck, Julie A. Blendy