Hugs not drugs: revolutionising the treatment of addiction

Presented by Dr Michael Bowen
School of Psychology, University of Sydney

We have a problem with addictive drugs: 15% of all deaths worldwide each year are attributed to harmful use of alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs. Despite this enormous burden, treatment options for substance-use disorders are severely limited and a breakthrough treatment is desperately needed.

A growing body of research suggests that targeting the brain’s oxytocin system – oxytocin is known as the ‘love hormone’ – may provide this breakthrough. Unfortunately, due to how large the oxytocin molecule is and its physical properties, administering oxytocin itself is unlikely to unlock the full therapeutic potential of targeting the oxytocin system.

Find out why researchers hope that developing small molecules that act on the ‘love hormone’ system may provide the solution for addiction.

Lecture recordings

Recordings of this lecture are now available to download: