Opioid addiction is a chronic disease of the brain with biological, psychological, social, and spiritual components. Understanding the biology of addiction changes how we treat the disease.
Addiction is the result of a combination of genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Understanding how controlled substances change the reward centers in the brain can change how we think about addiction, how we judge people who suffer from it, and how we treat it.
Three medications are FDA-approved to treat opioid addiction: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, but only 10% of people who need medications can find access to treatment.
In this webinar, Dr. Corey Waller, faculty at the Camden Coalition and board-certified in addiction, pain medicine, and emergency medicine, describes how chronic opioid use changes the way dopamine works in the brain — ultimately changing how people think, behave, and make decisions. He also describes how buprenorphine works and how that changes our approach to treatment.
A recording of the event and the presentation slides are available below.