Conceptualizing addiction from an osteopathic perspective: Dopamine homeostasis

Dave Baron, Kenneth Blum, Anthony Chen, Mark Gold, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Addiction is a public health crisis in the United States. Understanding the cause and providing effective treatment for patients—in particular, those with substance use disorders—is challenging. Research has demonstrated that addiction is not a flaw in one’s moral fiber or a disease of choice; rather, it is driven by alterations in neuronal mechanisms, especially those that involve the neurotransmitter dopamine, which plays a critical role in the brain’s reward pathway. Much of osteopathic philosophy is based on the concept of total body homeostasis and allostasis. This article discusses the role of achieving dopamine homeostasis as part of a comprehensive biopsychosocial treatment strategy in the effective management of addiction. The authors aim to motivate osteopathic primary care physicians to incorporate osteopathic philosophy into the treatment of patients with substance use disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-118
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Osteopathic Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Dopamine
  • Reward deficiency syndrome
  • Reward pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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