Submitted by: Evan Wood
Substance use disorder, better known as addiction, is one of society’s most common and costly diseases. While moralistic views and stigma towards people with addiction have worsened the individual, family and public health consequences of addiction, research is unpacking the neurochemical processes that lead to alcohol and drug addiction, and new treatments set the stage for an entirely new approach to how society views and treats addictive disorders. These findings have huge implications for public health and community safety given the close links between drug addiction, infectious disease (e.g. human immunodeficiency virus) transmission and drug market violence. Drugs aren’t cool, but addiction medicine is and UBC is leading to a healthcare revolution with respect to how addictions are diagnosed and treated.