Drugs and the Brain

May 22, 2018

The 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference will be held next week over Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May with optional workshops on Wednesday 30 May at the QT Gold Coast.

Professor Dan Lubman, Director at Turning Point joins us at the Conference to discuss ‘Drugs and the Brain: How recent advances in addiction neuroscience inform clinical practice’.

Professor Dan Lubman


Over the past 50 years, advances in the neuroscience field have led to a clearer understanding of brain circuits underpinning drug reward as well as neuroadaptive changes associated with chronic drug use and addiction. Animal and human research consistently identify long-acting alterations within the brain’s reward circuitry that result in increased responsiveness to drugs and situations that predict drug reward, as well as a diminished response to natural rewards.

At the same time, dysfunction within frontal brain circuits impact on decision-making and promote ongoing drug seeking and drug taking. However, most human studies are cross-sectional in nature, raising questions of whether identified changes are a consequence of chronic drug use or relate to a premorbid vulnerability. Indeed, recent research suggests that genetic and environmental factors during development are associated with altered brain circuits evident in long-term drug users, findings that also inform recovery approaches. In this presentation, these studies will be discussed in detail, and implications for practice will be explored.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER Professor Dan Lubman is a Psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine Specialist. He has worked across mental health and drug treatment settings in both the UK and Australia. He is Director of Turning Point and Professor of Addiction Studies and Services at Monash University. Dr Lubman’s research is wide-ranging and includes investigating the impact of alcohol and drug use on brain function, the relationship between substance use, gambling and mental disorder, as well as the development of targeted intervention programs within school, primary care, mental health and drug treatment settings.

Dr Lubman has published over 350 peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters and major reports, and was Chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Addiction Psychiatry for over a decade. He is regularly contacted for policy advice and community comment, and sits on numerous State and Commonwealth expert reference committees, including Victoria’s Ice Action Taskforce as well as its Mental Health Expert Taskforce.

For more information and to secure your last minute spot please visit the conference website.





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