Gold is recognised for changing the medical field's understanding of how opiate drugs and also cocaine hijack the human brain. His work has led to new treatments for addicts, tests for drug intoxication and understanding of how heroin, other opiates and cocaine cause dependence and withdrawal. His research has also shed light on the dangers of secondhand exposure to smoke and other drugs, and revealed how dopamine - a chemical essential for brain function - is a motivational factor in addiction.
"As a person who has spent 30 years in addiction medicine, receiving an award from the nation's leading treatment professionals and from representatives of centers such as the Betty Ford Center is a great honor," Gold said. "It's particularly exciting and gratifying that recovery professionals feel my research has been valuable and has helped make a difference in how they care for patients."
Gold, a faculty member in the psychiatry department at the College of Medicine since 1990, follows in a long line of innovators who have received the prestigious award since it was first issued in 1983, including former first lady Betty Ford, alcohol recovery pioneer the Rev. Joseph C. Martin, alcohol and drug rehabilitation expert Rabbi Abraham Twerski, M.D., and U.S. Sen. Harold E. Hughes.
Although the Bradley award is for lifetime achievement, Gold says his work is far from finished: "We've really just started to understand how drugs of abuse target and change the brain and what we might do to reverse damage," Gold said. "I'm excited about the research and work we can do at the McKnight Brain Institute during the next 20 years."
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Florida