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At Oct. 8 lecture at GCSOM, psychiatrist and addiction expert Petros Levounis, MD will discuss new understanding and approach to addiction

Petros Levounis, MD, will deliver a talk exploring new discoveries in the understanding and treatment of addiction on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) in Scranton. The presentation, “The New Neurobiology of Addiction,” is the eighth installment in GCSOM’s Preventive Medicine Lecture series, established in 2016. The lecture is free and open to the public.

During the lecture, Dr. Levounis will explore the traditional understanding of addiction and how new discoveries about the brain are challenging some long-held assumptions about treatment. “From a neurobiological perspective, addiction can be seen as the hijacking of the pleasure-reward pathways of the brain with a concomitant weakening of its executive function,” he said. “In 2019, the fundamental model has been expanded to include newer concepts such as motivational circuitry and anti-reward pathways. These discoveries are changing the landscape of addiction and its treatment.” Motivational circuitry includes the role experiences play in interacting with the brain’s reward system, while the anti-reward pathways refer to areas of the brain that produce powerful negative emotions that drive a person to avoid certain behaviors.

Dr. Levounis is professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, as well as chief of service, University Hospital, Newark, New Jersey. Previously, Dr. Levounis was  Columbia University’s director of the Addiction Institute of New York from 2002 to 2013. He is an expert in the field of addiction and has published 13 books, including the self-help paperback “Sober Siblings: How to Help Your Alcoholic Brother or Sister—and Not Lose Yourself.”

Dr. Levounis’s lecture will take place at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, 525 Pine Street, Scranton at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The event is free but reservations are required. To RSVP, visit


About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) is a member of the Geisinger family. Geisinger Commonwealth offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Atlantic City, Danville, Doylestown, Sayre, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD), Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) and Professional Science Master's (PSM) degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region, as well as from across the nation. The school also has more than 500 residents and fellows in 31 accredited residency programs and 23 accredited fellowships. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. For more information, visit, or connect with us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.


About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1.5 million consumers it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With 32,000 employees and 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by billions of dollars annually. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Petros Levounis, MD, MA
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
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