Research into Addictive Disorders

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Over the last 20 years a great deal of progress has been made in detecting, monitoring, and treating people who have addictions. Progress has also been made in the knowledge of which factors (biological, psychological, social, etc.) predispose someone to develop an addictive disorder.

The main research lines in the scientific community are:

Biological markers and neurobiology

  • Neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging).
  • Direct and indirect markers of substance use in various matrices (hair, urine, blood, saliva, etc.).
  • Continuous monitoring tools for substance use (bracelets and patches that detect the consumption of alcohol).
  • Genetics and pharmacogenetics.

New treatments

  • Drugs to reduce the risk of reusing the substance.
  • Biological treatments to reduce or avoid the use of the substance (biofeedback, transcranial magnetic stimulation, etc.).
  • Individual and group psychological treatments.
  • Use of new technologies as therapeutic tools (e-health, m-health, gamification and applied games).


  • Tools for the early detection of high-risk users who have not yet developed an addictive disease.
  • Brief intervention for these users, measures to decrease access to substances, especially in the young and adolescent population.

Damage reduction

  • Detection and intervention in diseases related to substance use (hepatitis virus, HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.).
  • Reduction of mortality due to acute intoxication (opiates, alcohol, sedatives, etc.).
  • Reduction of violence related to substance use (both from the point of view of the victim and the aggressor).

Substantiated information by:

Antoni Gual Solé
Clara Oliveras Salvà
Hugo López Pelayo
Magalí Andreu
Mireia Graell Gabriel
Pablo Barrio Giménez
Silvia Mondón

Published: 16 September 2019
Updated: 16 September 2019


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