Drugs of abuse
Thirty-six faculty members in this department concentrate their research and teaching efforts in the area of drugs of abuse. The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology offers excellent pre- and postdoctoral training in this area of specialization. The faculty members in this department continue to earn federal funding for their research and teaching efforts in this area. One example is a training grant for pre and postdoctoral fellows which are in its 39th year of consecutive funding. A wide variety of methodologies is used to elucidate the mechanism of action of abused drugs and their propensity to induce tolerance and dependence. Molecular and genetic models, as well as a wide variety of techniques involved in systemic and integrated system approaches, are utilized in laboratories studying, cannabinoids, opioids, nicotine, ethanol, cocaine, inhalants and other abused drugs. The continued contributions to our knowledge by faculty and their trainees working in this area have been well-recognized at both the national and international levels. One of the major goals of our current and future efforts will continue to be to have our research be directed toward a greater understanding of how drugs of abuse affect human health.