Topics

Note: All presentations are in non-technical language.

Neurobiology of Addiction

(1-6 hours)
This workshop will cover the latest research on the neurobiology of addictions, including work on the medial forebrain bundle ("pleasure center"); the differences between drug abuse and drug dependence; the latest therapies for drug dependency (including drug therapies for alcoholism and other dependencies), and research methodologies that promise even more exciting breakthroughs in understanding addictions in the future.

Alcoholism-Its Causes and Cures

(1-3 hours)
This seminar focuses on the effects of alcohol on the brain and body, from the cellular to the behavioral level. The chronic effects of alcohol often include "alcoholism", about which scientists are beginning to learn more and more. The causes of alcoholism, including genetic components, will be covered from a biological/medical perspective. How existing and future therapies work in relation to the neurochemical causes of alcoholism will be explained.

Dangerous Drug Addictions-Pharmacology and Outcomes

(1-3 hours)
This seminar covers all drug addictions other than alcohol. Included are nicotine, opiates, cocaine and amphetamines, marijuana, benzodiazepines, inhalants, and others. How these drugs work on the cellular level in the brain, what their chronic effects are, and how to treat people addicted to these drugs will be covered.

Science Behind the Disease: Brain Chemical Messenger Changes in Addictions

(1 - 3 hours)
This seminar covers basic and recent knowledge about neurotransmitters, which are released from nerve cells to convey information which leads to behavior, focusing on those neurotransmitter systems of brain which are affected by addictions.

Science Behind the Disease: Receptor Proteins as Targets for Treating Addictions

(1-3 hours)
Receptors are proteins on the surface of nerve cells which are the targets for chemical messengers, neurotransmitters. This seminar covers basic and recent knowledge about those receptors which change during the addictive process and its treatment.

Science Behind the Disease: Signaling in the Brain-Actions Inside Nerve Cells Tell the Story

(1-3 hours)
Chemical communication between nerve cells must change the activity of each receiving cell in order to be effective. This seminar presents basic and recent knowledge about how this occurs, with an emphasis on those types of signaling which may play a role in the addictions.

Science Behind the Disease: Sites of Drug Action in Brain- the Addiction Connection

(1-3 hours)
Alcohol and other abused drugs change behavior in two ways: they alter nerve cells and they change the way that neural pathways, which connect many nerve cells, work. This seminar considers basic and recent information about how addictive substances change the functions of the brain at these two levels - the cellular and circuit levels.

Do Addictions Co-exist with Other Disorders of Behavior?

(1-3 hours)
This seminar examines the role that addictions may play in expression of severe behavior disorders including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia and the role that these disorders may have in the development and expression of heavy drug use.

Drugs, Alcohol and Your Brain

(1-3 hours)
This seminar will discuss drug and alcohol addiction, the neurobiology and psychology of craving, brain control, and the latest research on how the nervous system is affected by exposure to these chemicals, often permanently. No matter how obvious the problems of drug and alcohol addiction seem to the user and to society, the success of any prevention or treatment program will be short-lived if there continues to be misunderstandings about the causes and dangers of substance abuse.

The Chemical Brain

(1-3 hours)
This seminar is a broad survey on brain research and psychopharmacology. Drug and alcohol use will be covered, along with psychiatric and neurological disorders, and their medical treatment.

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