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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov.

Cover of Facing Addiction in America

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet].

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Illustration shows the process of neurons in the Go circuits of the prefrontal cortex stimulating the habit systems of the dorsal striatum through connections that use glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, during the preoccupation/anticipation stage of the addiction cycle. This process leads to decreased executive function.

Figure 2.11Major Neurotransmitter Systems Implicated in the Neuroadaptations Associated with the Preoccupation/Anticipation Stage of Addiction

Abbreviations: PFC - prefrontal cortex, DS - dorsal striatum, NAc - nucleus accumbens, BNST - bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, CeA - central nucleus of the amygdala, VTA - ventral tegmental area.

Source: Modified with permission from Koob & Volkow, (2010).14

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