Open Access in JAH
- Despite significant advances in our understanding of the biological bases of addictions, these disorders continue to represent a huge public health burden that is associated with substantial personal suffering. Efforts to target addictions require consideration of how the improved biological understanding of addictions may lead to improved prevention, treatment, and policy initiatives.
- Adolescent obesity has become an increasingly urgent issue in low- and middle-income countries. Recent relevant advances include the application of the neurobiology of addiction to food addiction and obesity. The biochemistry of the etiology of obesity indicates the need for multilevel interventions that go beyond simple behavioral approaches. Additional research on the neurobiology of food addiction and adolescent obesity in low- and middle-income countries, as well as program evaluations that examine the biochemical effects of complex interventions, is urgently needed.
- Advances in neuroscience have improved our knowledge of the impact of illicit drug use on the adolescent brain. Translating this new knowledge into improved policies and programs requires the participation of public health and social sciences. This article discusses the implications of the recent advances of neurobiology for policies especially as they pertain to adolescents in low- and middle-income countries. It includes an overview of adolescent use of illicit drugs in low- and middle-income countries and calls for a move toward a transdisciplinary approach.