Substance use, microbiome and psychiatric disorders

Ernest T. Chivero, Susmita Sil, Mohit Kumar, Shilpa Buch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Accumulating evidence from several studies has shown association between substance use, dysregulation of the microbiome and psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Many of the abused substances such as cocaine and alcohol have been shown to alter immune signaling pathways and cause inflammation in both the periphery and the central nervous system (CNS). In addition, these substances of abuse also alter the composition and function of the gut microbiome which is known to play important roles such as the synthesis of neurotransmitters and metabolites, that affect the CNS homeostasis and consequent behavioral outcomes. The emerging interactions between substance use, microbiome and CNS neurochemical alterations could contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders. This review provides an overview of the associative effects of substance use such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine and opioids on the gut microbiome and psychiatric disorders involving anxiety, depression and psychosis. Understanding the relationship between substance use, microbiome and psychiatric disorders will provide insights for potential therapeutic targets, aimed at mitigating these adverse outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number173432
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety
  • Cocaine
  • Depression
  • Methamphetamine
  • Microbiota
  • Nicotine
  • Opioids
  • Psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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