Associate Professor Psychiatry and Pharmacology
Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Science
Many drugs have important behavioral actions. One such behavioral action is drug addiction. Drug addiction results from the interactions between an individuals ongoing and past behavior and the pharmacological actions of a drug. The behavioral pharmacology of drug addiction aims at understanding these interactions. Thus, behavioral pharmacology aims to understand how drugs affect behavior, understand how behavior affects drug action, and understand the pharmacological mechanism of these actions. Developing these understandings is fundamental to understanding the behavioral biology of drug addiction and to developing new and more effective treatments of drug addiction.
Ongoing studies address this both from a treatment development perspective and from a basic science perspective. Frequently, however, research is conducted that combines these two perspectives. Two examples of how these perspectives are combined are ongoing studies on the effects of serotonin re-uptake inhibitors on ethanol self-administration in rats and ongoing studies on shaping abstinence in smokers.