The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) undertakes research on the neurobiology of addiction with the aim of developing targeted treatments to support recovery. Our discoveries are often licensed to biotechnology or pharmaceutical firms for further development of a drug or treatment. Addiction investigators at TSRI conduct all phases of research, from basic science to early-phase clinical trials. For the latest information on clinical trials at TSRI, please visit the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research. For information on specific conditions, search for associations or organizations dedicated to the condition, for example the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
While the exact definition of addiction varies, addiction is a condition in which an individual persists in the use of alcohol or another substance despite harmful effects on his/her health, work or relationships. Chronic, heavy use often results in tolerance, where more of the substance is needed to achieve the same effect, as well as withdrawal symptoms if use of the substance is cut back or stopped.
Almost everyone knows someone affected by addiction or substance abuse. Alcoholism and addiction are not just personal problems—they also affect families and communities. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that approximately 15 percent of Americans have a substance use disorder involving alcohol, nicotine or illicit drugs, resulting in a cost to the U.S. economy of $539 billion per year. Healthcare economists estimate that every dollar invested in addiction research or treatment yields a return of more than $12 in healthcare, work productivity and law enforcement savings.