pic.pngAddictions constitute a large component of mental illness that we are only beginning to understand. Drugs of abuse have received the most attention, both in the discouragement of use by society and the DSM. However, they are not the only addictions that exist. Many others have substantial impact on lives that only recently have been considered for the DSM-V. These are social addictions that, unlike drugs of abuse, receive less attention and possess unique ramifications. Thus, there is interest in re-examining these “neo-addictions” to ask why these addictions persist despite the negative impact on lives. These socially-oriented addictions include Internet, gambling, food, sex, and alcohol. Although research has just started for some of these, there is general consensus on the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms. Most of these addictions focus on impulse control centers in the prefrontal cortices and are affected by numerous neurotransmitters depending on the addiction and substance used; dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and opiates are the main players alongside system-specific molecules such as ΔFosB, insulin, and pCREB. Researching these mechanisms and their impact on behaviour is pivotal in both the understanding and treatment of addictions.

  1. Internet Addiction Disorder(by Randal David)
    1. Etiology in the Brain
    2. Cognitive-Behavioural Changes
    3. Experimental Treatment
  2. Gambling Addiction/Pathological Gambling(by Robert Dang)
    1. Biology of Pathological Gambling
    2. Treatment
    3. Theories of Pathological Gambling
  3. Food Addiction(by Alex Di Giacomo)
    1. Dopamine
    2. Insulin
    3. Molecular Correlates
    4. The Amygdala
  4. Sex Addiction(by Mathulan Sriskanthabal)
    1. Developmental Factors
    2. Neurotransmitters and Neuroanatomical Structures
    3. Behavioural Repertoire and Treatment
  5. Alcoholism(by Rossana Lam)
    1. Causes
    2. Physiological Symptoms
    3. Treatment