Nicotine-Alcohol Interaction

The interaction between nicotine and alcohol, two of the most abused and co-abused drugs, can impact a person’s ability to learn and could have implications for treating addiction.
In examining the drugs’ interactive effects on learning, the researchers looked at the ability to learn and process contextual information, which is important for multiple reasons.
Contextual learning taps into the part of the brain that is involved in declarative memory processes that define who we are, such as memories of our family, our wedding day, or graduating from school. This type of learning involves an area of the brain called the hippocampus, an area that is involved in strengthening short-term memories, and putting them into long-term memory storage, thus making those memories the ones that define who we are.