Development of Pharmacotherapies for Drug Addiction: A Rosetta Stone Approach

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2009 Jun;8(6):500-15. doi: 10.1038/nrd2828.


Current pharmacotherapies for addiction represent opportunities for facilitating treatment and are forming a foundation for evaluating new medications. Furthermore, validated animal models of addiction and a surge in understanding of neurocircuitry and neuropharmacological mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of addiction - such as the neuroadaptive changes that account for the transition to dependence and the vulnerability to relapse - have provided numerous potential therapeutic targets. Here, we emphasize a 'Rosetta Stone approach', whereby existing pharmacotherapies for addiction are used to validate and improve animal and human laboratory models to identify viable new treatment candidates. This approach will promote translational research and provide a heuristic framework for developing efficient and effective pharmacotherapies for addiction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Drug Discovery / trends*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / trends
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / drug effects
  • Nerve Net / metabolism
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism
  • Substance-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / metabolism
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations