Growing up in poor urban neighborhood, Carl Hart watched crack cocaine ravage the lives of his relatives. Early in his research career, Hart set out to find a neurological cure for chemical addiction. But as he began studying addicts, he found that there was more at issue than the neurochemical properties of the illicit drugs. In groundbreaking experiments, he offered crack addicts a choice between a dose of the drug or a monetary reward. When the dose was smaller, addicts often chose the money. When the monetary reward increased, all the participants opted for financial gain over getting high. A tenured science professor at Columbia University — and the first African-American to hold that distinction — Hart has leveraged his research to advocate for policy reforms. He argues that law enforcers focus too heavily on prosecuting drug users while ignoring poverty, racism, and other socioeconomic conditions that spur substance abuse and crime.
A team of clinical scientists is examining a possible psychological symptom that may heighten craving and risk of replace for people recovering from opioid dependence.dependence. More
With $2.3 million from the National Institutes of Health, Emory University psychological scientist Rohan Palmer is searching for the genetic influences that leave some individuals particularly vulnerable to addiction. More
An innovative program at Indiana University shows how university generated research can help policymakers tackle real-world issues, including treatment for substance-use disorders. More