This week, the dominant theme in the addiction literature is opioids; so we concede to that topic primacy, for this issue. As one Hilo, Hawaii resident reminded me, all volcanic eruptions, like hemorrhages and epidemics, do stop eventually; in the matter of hemorrhages and epidemics, we do have some influence.
A line of conversation has recently appeared, in a closed site populated by our colleagues in addiction noteworthy for the practicality of its content and the imaginativeness of its contributors (LMDs). That line relates to the role of inflammation in addiction, posited both as a contributor to the development of the illness and as an important area of study in how best to manage withdrawal, symptom relief, and recovery. While literature on this topic is young, it is tantalizing; e.g., this brief comment from the University of Colorado, and one of several recently that include a discussion of inflammation in alcoholism: https://www.colorado.edu/lab/bachtell/research/neuroinflammation-and-addiction; https://academic.oup.com/alcalc/article/52/2/172/2769517#58912744[currently full-text]. Interestingly, the larger topic of the role of inflammation in behavioral health injury has been acknowledged for some decades. One example is Nancy Andreasen’s seminal imaging work involving brain morphologic changes in conjunction with schizophrenia, in which the inflammatory cascade was proposed as a contributor; that contribution is increasingly widely accepted. [PDF download and CLICK HERE]. While it is important to remember that inflammation is a mediator of change and not necessarily etiologic, inflammatory changes are increasingly supported as a valuable, shared area for investigation in those with addiction.
– Editor-in-Chief: William Haning, MD, DFAPA, DFASAM
Fascinating! Inflammation is part of so many diseases! More to come!