Principal Investigator: Ken Abrams, Ph.D.
Our Research Goals
A high rate of co-morbidity exists between the substance use and anxiety disorders. Though several models have been proposed to explain this elevated rate, relatively few laboratory tests have been conducted. Our research entails direct tests of two such models of co-morbidity, one positing that substance dependence promotes anxiety disorders (through biopsychosocial consequences of chronic substance use and repeated withdrawal syndromes) and the other that anxiety disorders promote substance dependence (through self-medication of symptoms). The anxiety disorders on which our lab has focused are panic disorder and social phobia, and the substances on which we have focused are nicotine and alcohol. Our broad research goals are to increase knowledge of the etiology, maintenance, and prevention of the co-morbid condition.