Politico March 4, 2024
Carmen Paun, Daniel Payne, Erin Schumaker and Ruth Reader

One day, people recovering from substance use disorder could take a pill that significantly reduces their chance of relapsing.

Such a possibility has Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, excited about a better scientific understanding of addiction — as the United States continues to grapple with a record number of overdose deaths.

Volkow, who has led NIDA for more than two decades, talked with Carmen about the evolving science.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How has an understanding of the science of addiction changed during your career?

When I first started doing brain imaging to investigate which areas of the brain were affected by drugs, we were very limited.

Now what we...

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