The Impact of Early Life Adversity on Pain and Responses to Opioids

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Early life adversity (ELA) is a term that is being used to describe traumatic events that occur during childhood which have the potential to alter normal development and increase risks for a spectrum of physical and mental health in adulthood, including substance use disorders (SUDs). Accumulating evidence has shown associations between ELA and risk behaviors, drug misuse, more rapid transition from misuse to use disorders, and poor treatment outcomes in humans. These findings have mirrored those of preclinical studies demonstrating the consequences of early life manipulations on behaviors that reflect aspects of drug reward or tendency to relapse after abstinence. Nevertheless, ELA is only beginning to be taken into consideration in the development of individualized prevention and treatment strategies and there is a need for better understanding of the neurobiological processes that promote vulnerability or resilience in ELS-exposed individuals. This symposium will begin with a presentation by Dr. Khan who will discuss the role of ELAs in substance abuse risks, highlighting current findings on mediating pathways that may help to inform intervention strategies. Dr. al’Absi will then review evidence of neurobiological mechanisms that underlie risks for addiction, focusing on the physiological stress system. Dr. Nugent will present her findings showing effects of ELA on behavior depression and motivational properties of morphine and its relationship to habenula activity in a rat model. Finally, Dr. Hales will discuss the impact of ELA on nociception in mice and their response to morphine and its implications for opioid treatment of chronic pain
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2022
EventThe College of Problems of Drug Dependence: Symposium - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: 12 Jun 202216 Jun 2022
Conference number: 84


ConferenceThe College of Problems of Drug Dependence
Abbreviated titleCPDD
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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