Home > Opioid use disorder and the brain: a clinical perspective.

Herlinger, Katherine and Lingford-Hughes, Anne (2022) Opioid use disorder and the brain: a clinical perspective. Addiction, 17, (2), pp. 495-505. doi: 10.1111/add.15636.

External website: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.15...

Opioid use disorder (OUD) has gained increasing publicity and interest during recent years, with many countries describing problems of epidemic proportions with regard to opioid use and deaths related to opioids. While opioids are not themselves acutely neurotoxic, the chronic relapsing and remitting nature of this disorder means that individuals are often exposed to exogenous opioids for lengthy periods of time (either illicit or prescribed as treatment). We are increasingly characterizing the effect of such long-term opioid exposure on the brain.

This narrative review aims to summarize the literature regarding OUD and the brain from a clinical perspective. Alterations of brain structure and function are discussed, as well as neurological and psychiatric disorders in OUD. Finally, we review current and new directions for assessment and treatment.

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