A new study finds that alcohol and cannabis marketing stimulates the brain’s reward circuit. A reduction of marketing would reduce the exposure of the brain to reward cues that induce substance use.
From the abstract:
Alcohol and cannabis marketing significantly increased striatal BOLD activation across all groups while sober. Striatal activation however decreased during intoxication with alcohol and cannabis.
Implicit associations with cannabis marketing cues were significantly more positive in alcohol and cannabis users as compared with non-drug using controls.
Public advertising of alcohol or cannabis use elicits striatal activation in the brain’s reward circuit. Reduction of marketing would reduce brain exposure to reward cues that motivate substance use. Conversely, elevated dopamine levels protect against the reinforcing potential of marketing.
de Sousa Fernandes Perna, E. B., Theunissen, E. L., Kuypers, K. P. C., Evers, E. A., Stiers, P., Toennes, S. W., Witteman, J., van Dalen, W., and Ramaekers, J. G. (2016) Brain reactivity to alcohol and cannabis marketing during sobriety and intoxication. Addiction Biology, doi: 10.1111/adb.12351.