Latest developments in causes and treatments



A Look at the Year Ahead From AddictionNews

AddictionNews has been publishing for six weeks. It’s taken a while to build out the website and the WordPress blog, but they are both humming along now. We also have set up a distribution network through Facebook and X. We hope to continue building on those outlets in 2024 with our professional journalism and terrific graphics.

Most importantly, we look forward to bringing you the very latest developments in causes and treatments for addiction. We publish new, original reporting every weekday with an emphasis on quality sourcing. A typical post from December of last year would have four source documents, two of them from scholarly journals. The journal articles we cite are usually fresh research published within the previous three years.

Already at AddictionNews, we can tell what some of the key issues will be for the coming year. Number one on the list is Ozempic and other GLP-1 drugs which have been licensed for diabetes patients and prescribed by physicians for weight loss. The mechanism by which Ozempic suppresses the desire to eat appears to also depress the desire to gamble or shop excessively and may reduce the desire to drink excessively or consume addictive drugs.

Anecdotal evidence suggests GLP-1 drugs act on a common pathway traveled by all compulsions, possibly the displacement mechanism identified by Dr. Robert Pretlow, publisher of AddictionNews, in his paper, “A Unified Theory of Addiction.” We expect to see a slew of research on GLP-1 drugs and addiction in the coming year, and a continued refinement of a unified theory of addiction.

Another side of the GLP-1 story will also make headlines in 2024, and those are the side effects of these drugs as large numbers of people are taking them for weight loss. Anecdotal evidence suggests GLP-1 drugs can cause people to lose interest in everything: friends, family, activities, etc. AddictionNews expects to see more scientific research on the side effects of GLP-1 drugs in 2024.

Sadly, 2024 will likely be filled with headlines about drug overdoses, as several powerful, synthetic drugs have infiltrated the illicit drug market. AddictionNews expects to review more studies like those being done in Kentucky on the drug ibogaine, which has until now had mostly anecdotal evidence of the drug’s successful use in opioid abuse treatment.

Another issue on our list for 2024 is how treatment is delivered to those suffering from substance use disorders and other compulsive behavioral disorders. Last year ended with a blockbuster expose by The New York Times into substance abuse treatment in America, and the picture needs to improve.

When people seek treatment, the problems their substance abuse or behavioral disorder cause diminish. Getting people over the hurdle of stigma and into treatment will be a big part of our coverage in 2024, along with the use of low-cost, eHealth therapies that have shown some promise in the treatment of substance use disorders.

We expect 2024 to be a year of non-stop research into the causes and treatments for addiction, and we look forward to bringing out the best of it on AddictionNews.

Written by Steve O’Keefe. First published January 2, 2024.


“A Unified Theory of Addiction,” by Robert Pretlow, M.D., 

“Can Ozempic Help With Other Addictions?” AddictionNews, December 2023.

“The New Drugs and Unforeseen Consequences,” Childhood Obesity News, November 2023.

“A Psychoactive Plant From Africa Being Tested for Opioid Addiction Treatment,” AddictionNews, December 2023.

“Tribeca Film About Ibogaine: A Revolutionary Treatment For Addiction And PTSD?” Forbes, June 2023.

“48 Million Americans Live With Addiction. Here’s How to Get Them Help That Works.” The New York Times, December 2023.

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