Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Thirteenth StepAddiction in the Age of Brain Science$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Markus Heilig

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172363

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172363.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 07 May 2021

Pills for Addiction Ills

Pills for Addiction Ills

Chapter:
(p.206) 17 Pills for Addiction Ills
Source:
The Thirteenth Step
Author(s):

Markus Heilig

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231172363.003.0017

This chapter first considers medications to treat heroin addiction. These include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. All three bind tightly to opioid receptors but without activating them at all. Because the receptors are now occupied by an inactive molecule, patients can inject as much heroin as they wish but will not experience a high no matter what. The chapter then turns to medications for the treatment of alcoholism. Disulfiram, discovered in the 1920s, continues to be marketed under the trade name Antabuse. Disulfiram works by blocking a step along the sequence through which alcohol is broken down and eliminated from the body. As a result of this blockade, the toxic substance acetaldehyde accumulates in the bloodstream. What that means is that if alcohol is consumed while a patient is on disulfiram, the accumulation of acetaldehyde results in facial flushing, as well as an extremely unpleasant and potentially dangerous reaction that includes a pounding heart and elevated blood pressure. This is intended to deter alcohol use, but does not reduce cravings for alcohol. Naltrexone was approved for alcoholism treatment in 1994 under the name Revia. It works by blocking the reward from alcohol, thus preventing a relapse to heavy drinking.

Keywords:   addictive disorders, medication, addiction, methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, opioid receptors

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .