Étudiante-chercheuse étoile October 2015

Florence Allain

PhD student in Pharmacology
Université de Montréal

Award-winning publication: How Fast and How Often: The Pharmacokinetics of Drug Use Are Decisive in Addiction

Published in: Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews


Drug use and addiction do not necessarily go hand in hand: the user's genetic makeup and his/her living environment modulate the risk. Florence Allain's research reveals that a drug's pharmacokinetic variables (i.e. the amount that travels to the brain and the speed and frequency at which it gets to the brain) also constitute determining factors. The results show that the quicker a drug reaches the brain, the greater the risk of addiction. For example, nicotine may be addictive when inhaled but therapeutic when released through a skin patch. These findings have significant implications for better understanding the brain changes associated with drug addiction.