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WHO report calls for new approach to substance dependence

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 18 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:664
  1. Fiona Fleck
  1. Geneva

    Scientists have recently gained vital new insights into drug, alcohol, and tobacco dependence, but this knowledge has not been translated effectively into public health policy, the World Health Organization said in a new report published on Thursday.

    The report summarises new findings on how psychoactive substances mimic the effects of naturally occurring neurotransmitters and interfere with normal brain functioning by altering storage, release, and removal of these transmitters.

    Substance dependence is determined by psychosocial, cultural, and environmental as well as biological and genetic factors and—although …

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