Research Topic

From Therapeutic to Compulsive Use: Drug Effects on Cognition and Behavior

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About this Research Topic

The effects of drugs are rarely completely beneficial or exclusively dangerous. For example, psychostimulants used at low doses are an effective treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whereas higher doses of the same drug can produce recreational effects, and still higher doses can induce psychotic symptoms. The disparate effects of drugs also underlie a range of current issues with broad societal impact, including the opioid crisis, recent pushes for the legalization of cannabis, as well as trends in microdosing psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin for cognitive enhancement. The goal of this Research Topic is to tie together research on the beneficial cognitive and behavioral effects of drugs versus their detrimental effects, in a single collection.

Potential topics include:

- cognitive enhancement through drug use (animal or human data)
- cognitive impairment through drug use (animal or human data)
- theories of what factors determine cognitive enhancement vs impairment by the same drug
- microdosing psychedelics (e.g., LSD, psilocybin) for therapeutic purposes vs standard doses for recreational use
- cannabis for therapeutic purposes vs recreational purposes
- effects of cannabidiol (CBD) vs THC for therapeutic and recreational cannabis use
- transition from medicinal use of opiates to substance use disorder
- dose-response curves for cognitive effects of drugs (animal or human data)


Keywords: pharmacological cognitive enhancement, PCE, addiction, cannabis, psychedelics, opioids, stimulants


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The effects of drugs are rarely completely beneficial or exclusively dangerous. For example, psychostimulants used at low doses are an effective treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whereas higher doses of the same drug can produce recreational effects, and still higher doses can induce psychotic symptoms. The disparate effects of drugs also underlie a range of current issues with broad societal impact, including the opioid crisis, recent pushes for the legalization of cannabis, as well as trends in microdosing psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin for cognitive enhancement. The goal of this Research Topic is to tie together research on the beneficial cognitive and behavioral effects of drugs versus their detrimental effects, in a single collection.

Potential topics include:

- cognitive enhancement through drug use (animal or human data)
- cognitive impairment through drug use (animal or human data)
- theories of what factors determine cognitive enhancement vs impairment by the same drug
- microdosing psychedelics (e.g., LSD, psilocybin) for therapeutic purposes vs standard doses for recreational use
- cannabis for therapeutic purposes vs recreational purposes
- effects of cannabidiol (CBD) vs THC for therapeutic and recreational cannabis use
- transition from medicinal use of opiates to substance use disorder
- dose-response curves for cognitive effects of drugs (animal or human data)


Keywords: pharmacological cognitive enhancement, PCE, addiction, cannabis, psychedelics, opioids, stimulants


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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