Addiction caused by abused substances such as alcohol, opiates, cocaine and methamphetamine continues to be a serious public health problem affecting the health, social, and economic fabric of all societies in the United States and globally- it has no borders. Many of the nation’s top health problems including cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS & Hepatitis, are directly linked to substance abuse. Furthermore, addiction also goes hand in hand with mental health. This is of special concern in the aging population who face increased incidences of mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s diseases & depression. In fact almost 50% of individuals with severe mental health disorders have a co-morbidity of substance abuse and almost 37% of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers have at least one serious mental disorder. The underlying molecular mechanisms by which drugs of abuse impair cognitive functioning and manifest addiction is an area of active investigation and needs multidisciplinary approach.
The Nebraska Center for Substance Abuse Research (NCSAR) is committed to facilitating trans-disciplinary research in the area of substance abuse and its consequences on the biological functioning within the CNS, with the ultimate goal of developing therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing and treating drug addiction and the associated co-morbidities. NCSAR comprises of faculty both internationally and across the UNMC campuses with interests in substance abuse and neuroscience research, outreach & education, including faculty from the School of Medicine, School of Public Health, UNL and Veterans Affairs and Creighton University. NCSAR is striving to become a harmonizing force for translational research in addiction/mental health based on a strategy of developing and nurturing opportunities for interdisciplinary investigations and training new investigators in translational science. NCSAR fosters, engages and facilitates collaborations among basic and clinical scientists from various disciplines to advance bidirectional bench to bedside research with the ultimate unified goal of improving the lives of those afflicted with addiction. As part of our educational mission, NCSAR is dedicated to mentoring and training the next generation of scientists in substance abuse research. The Center will invite national and international experts on substance abuse research at the monthly seminar series and at the annual colloquium to disseminate the latest emerging trends in the field. Developing educational programs geared at uprooting substance abuse problems from the Society by inspiring lifestyle, grassroots change is also the focus of the Center. Together we can eliminate addiction!
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