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


  • CBD for Treating Neuropsychiatric Complications of COVID-19 and Role of Addiction Physician - Dr. Gregory Bunt
  • Behavioral Addictions - Dr. Marc Potenza


  • CBD for Treating Neuropsychiatric Complications of COVID-19 and Role of Addiction Physician - Dr. Gregory Bunt,M.D. FASAM, FISAM

The world is facing one of the most devastating viral pandemics of our time where about 215 million people have been infected with a novel corona virus- known as severe acute respiratory syndrome cornonavirus-2 (SARS-Cov2), and more than 4.8 million people have died from the corona virus induced disease (COVID-19).1 The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for unprecedented loss of life, economic, social, and health consequences including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cardiovascular, mental health including anxiety, depression, and neurological complications like tremors, seizures and impaired consciousness.2

Most recently, Volkow’s group3 recently reported that people with SUDs are at heightened risk of acquiring SARS-Cov2 infection. They suffer not only from SARS-Cov2 related health consequences including ‘long-haul’ effects, but also when they are infected with other multiple viral infections including HIV and HCV. Extensive efforts are underway to develop preventive vaccines and therapeutics such as remdesivir, dexamethasone, convalescent plasma, and others to treat COVID-19 but many ‘long-haulers’ patients report residual mental health and other problems after recovery.4,5 Cannabis and its products such as cannabidiol (CBD) are being advertised for the treatment of COVID-19 associated mental health problems, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and substance use disorders. In this presentation, Dr. Khalsa will discuss the health effects of COVID-19, and whether there is sufficient clinical evidence to support the use of cannabis/cannabinoids for treating COVID-19 related health effects6, and if time permits, the current research on CBD for treating substance use disorders; and Dr. Bunt will discuss the role of addiction physicians in dealing with patients with SUDs requesting cannabis or CBD prescription for any of the COVID-19 health effects.

  • Behavioral Addictions - Dr. Marc Potenza

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.

Share the Knowledge: ISSUP members can post in the Knowledge Share – Sign in or become a member