the dopamine hypothesis

Discussion 2: The Dopamine Hypothesis

Dopamine is implicated in addiction, and is often the direct or indirect target of substance abuse treatments. Using what you’ve learned this week, and in prior weeks, about dopamine and its importance in regulating mood and behavior, focus on the neurotransmitter’s role in addiction.

Post by Day 4 an analysis of the role that dopamine plays in addiction. Craft a cohesive analysis of how the dopamine system is involved in drug craving. How is it that addictive drugs co-opt brain systems to drive use and abuse? Provide specific evidence from peer-reviewed literature to support your position.

Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings, and compare and contrast your interpretations.


  • Advokat, C. D., & Comaty, J. E., & Julien, R. M. (2019). Julien’s primer of drug action: A comprehensive guide to the actions, uses, and side effects of psychoactive drugs (14th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers/Macmillan.
    • Chapter 4, “Epidemiology and Neurobiology of Addiction” (pp. 106-128)
  • Lichtblau, L. (2011). Psychopharmacology demystified (1st ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar/Cengage Learning.
    • Chapter 7, “Neurobiology of Addiction” (pp. 87–105)
  • Hancock, S. D, & McKim, W. A. (2018). Drugs and behavior: An introduction to behavioral pharmacology (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
    • Chapter 5, “Substance Use and Addictive Disorders” (pp. 85-117)
  • Ali, S. F., Onaivi, E. S., Dodd, P. R., Cadet, J. L., Schenk, S., Kuhar, M. J., & Koob, G. F. (2011). Understanding the global problem of drug addiction is a challenge for IDARS scientists. Current Neuropharmacology, 9(1), 2–7.
    Understanding the Global Problem of Drug Addiction is a Challenge for IDARS Scientists by Ali, S.F.; Onaivi, E.S.; Dodd, P.R.; Cadet, J.L.; Schenk, S.; Kuhar, M.J.; Koob, G.F., in Current Neuropharmacology, Vol. 9/Issue 1. Copyright 2011 by Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. via the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • Edwards, S. & Koob, G. F. (2010). Neurobiology of dysregulated motivational systems in drug addiction. Future Neurology, 5(3), 393–401.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Koob, G., & Volkow, N. D. (2010). Neurocircuitry of addiction. Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(1), 217–238.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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