Post 2

My apologies for the lateness of this post; unforeseeable circumstances occupied much of my time over the past several weeks.

I began the summer with preliminary research into how the brain works (on a very basic level) and how experts define addiction– chemical dependence on a substance. (For those curious, chemical dependence is diagnosed through several tests mainly focused on behaviors involving the substance)

After acquiring necessary background knowledge, I commenced the bulk of my research. Fortunately, due to current addiction epidemics– such as widespread opioid misuse in the United States– pathological studies of addictive drugs are incredibly common. While sifting through the masses of sources has been time consuming (and slightly tedious at times), my effort has not been without result. Thus far, I have read several papers and articles relating– whether directly or indirectly– to the role of thermodynamics in addiction. Furthermore, though the papers themselves contained useful information, the citations in each source have proved invaluable.

Though I will continue reading scholarly papers, I am beginning to utilize other mediums as well. Since scientific papers can be difficult for laypeople to read, I have found that listening to interviews with or talks given by experts provide different– and often more accessible– information on the subject. Ultimately, I may not use every talk for my project, but they have provided interesting perspectives nonetheless.

Next, I plan to utilize chem draw software to explore the nature of various drug molecules and develop further questions about the role of chemical bonding in addiction. I will (hopefully) update again soon with further findings.