what is the mechanism for creating opioid dependence?
opioids activate presynaptic opioid receptors on the GABA neurons which inhibits the release of GABA in ventral segmental area. Inhibiting GABA allows for dopaminergic neurons to fire more vigorously because GABA normally inhibits dopaminergic cells. Dopamine in the nucleus accumbens is intensely pleasurable.
what the treatment for opioid dependence?
methadone produces a longer but less stressful withdrawal.
clonidine is an alpha 2 agonist that can alleviate many of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.