Dr. Marc Potenza

Marc Potenza

Dr. Potenza is a board-certified psychiatrist with sub-specialty training in addiction psychiatry.  He has trained at Yale University receiving a combined BS/MS with Honors in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics and a PhD in Cell Biology, the latter concurrent with the MD through the Medical Scientist Training Program.  He completed internship, psychiatric residency and addiction psychiatry fellowship training at Yale.  Currently, he is a Professor of Psychiatry, Child Study and Neuroscience at the Yale University School of Medicine where he is the Director of the Division on Addictions Research, the Problem Gambling Clinic, the Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, the Women and Addictive Disorders Core of Women's Health Research at Yale and the Yale Research Program on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders.  He is also a Senior Research Scientist at the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. He is on the editorial boards of fifteen journals (including editor-in-chief of Current Addiction Reports) and has received multiple national and international awards for excellence in research and clinical care.  Recently, he has received lifetime achievement research awards from the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling and the National Council on Problem Gambling and research awards from the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health and Turkish Green Crescent Society (Phoenix Award for Addiction Research). He has consulted to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Registry of Effective Programs, National Institutes of Health, American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization (WHO) on matters of addiction. He has participated in two DSM-5 research work groups and six annual WHO meetings relating to Internet use and addictive behaviors in the ICD-11, addressing topics relating to gambling, gaming, impulse control, and addiction.

Dr. Potenza's research has focused on the neurobiology and treatment of substance and non-substance (behavioral) addictions and other disorders characterized by impaired impulse control and reward-related motivations.  The majority of this work has focused on understanding clinical and neurobiological underpinnings of these disorders, and their co-occurrences with other mental health disorders, in order to advance prevention and treatment strategies.  Dr. Potenza's research has applied brain imaging, genetic, epidemiological and clinical trials methodologies to gain knowledge and improve prevention and treatment strategies for addictive disorders.  This work has also involved identifying potential intermediary phenotypes, like facets of impulsivity, that may in part explain the high rates of co-occurrence between psychiatric conditions and might represent novel targets for prevention and treatment strategies.


Behavioral Addictions

The boundaries of addictions have been debated. In the 1980s, many experts considered addictions to be defined by compulsive drug use. In the 1990s and 2000s, investigators questioned whether non-drug behaviors (e.g., gambling) may constitute the focus of addictions. In the 2010s, major nomenclature systems included diagnostic criteria for disorders due to addictive behaviors, including gambling and gaming disorders. Over the past several years, a wider range of activities has been considered as potentially addictive, particularly given changes in the use of digital technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods and results: A brief review of behavioral addictions will be presented. Theoretical models for behavioral addictions and supporting data from general population and clinical samples will be presented. Prevention and treatment implications will be discussed. Conclusions: Behavioral addictions constitute an important group of psychiatric conditions. The public health impacts of behavioral addictions are considerable, and more effective prevention, treatment and policy efforts are needed to address concerns related to behavioral addictions.


NRC International Partners, Day 1, Track 3, 13:30-15:00

Presented as part of the Uniting the global community to face the challenge of addiction event, in-person on 12th May, 2022 Presentations: CBD for Treating Neuropsychiatric Complications of COVID-19 and Role of Addiction Physician - Dr...