NIDA Director Dr Nora D Volkow discusses addiction with the Dalai Lama

November / December 2013 | Volume 12, Issue 6

NIDA Director Dr Nora D Volkow seated next to the Dalai Lama, both look at computer screens

Together with leading scientists and philosophers, NIDA
Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow (left) recently met with the
Dalai Lama to discuss craving, desire and addiction.

Craving, desire and addiction were the topics considered by leading scientists and philosophers during a recent Mind and Life Dialogue meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. The NIH was represented at the conference by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. About 200 participants gathered at the Dalai Lama's private residence in India to share their perspectives on ways to improve treatment of the root causes of craving, desire and addiction.

Volkow gave an overview presentation titled "The Role of Dopamine in the Addicted Human Brain," which described addiction as a disease and detailed the latest findings in neuroscience.

Since 1987, the Mind and Life Institute, a Massachusetts-based non-governmental organization, has organized annual dialogues between the Dalai Lama and leading scientists and philosophers to better integrate modern science and Buddhist philosophy.

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