Differential susceptibility to comorbid drug abuse and violence

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Although many psychoactive substances have been associated with violent behavior, only a subgroup manifests excessively aggressive behavior when sober or intoxicated. Theories to explain addictive behaviors in general may directly relate to the specific proclivity to exhibit excessive aggression in this subset of users. Certain personality traits and cognitive deficits coexist in individuals prone to both drug abuse and violence, suggesting a common origin. Because these excessive and compulsive behaviors have been linked with aberrations in the metabolism and activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, their origins may be partly genetic or biological. Alterations in neurotransmitter function influence activities within the brain's reward center to perturb nervous system arousal levels, thereby increasing stimulation-seeking behaviors. Manifestations of these neurobiological aberrations can be measured in physiological and biochemical processes that serve to mediate these behavioral and psychological outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-890
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential susceptibility to comorbid drug abuse and violence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this