Department of Pharmacology “Gr. T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania
Correspondence: Mihai Nechifor. Department of Pharmacology “Gr. T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Universitatii 16, Iasi, 700115 Romania
Addiction is a dysregulation of brain reward systems that progressively increases, resulting in compulsive drug use and loss of control over drug-taking. Addiction is a brain disease. There is evidence that magnesium deficit is involved in addiction to various addictive substances (heroin, morphine, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and others). Magnesium is involved in all the stages of addiction. Magnesium deficit enhances the vulnerability to psychoactive substance addiction. Stress and trauma reduce the brain magnesium level and at the same time favor addiction development. In experimental studies, administration of magnesium while inducing morphine dependence in rats reduced the dependence intensity. Magnesium reduces the NMDA receptor activity and the glutamatergic activity. Because stress and trauma induce hypomagnesemia with increased vulnerability to addiction, magnesium intake by people who are under prolonged stress could be a way to reduce this vulnerability and the development of addiction to different psychoactive substances. Anxiety and depression appear to be associated with increases in drug-related harm and addictive substance use. Magnesium anxiolytic effect could be important for the antiaddictive action. Addiction is characterized by relapses. Magnesium deficiency may be a contributing factor to these relapses.