Potential Use of Antidepressants as Therapies for Drug Use Disorders
Pp. 3-37 (35)
Peter R. Kufahl, Piroska Barabas, Casey Halstengard and M. Foster Olive
The diseases of drug addiction and alcoholism are characterized by a
transition from experimental and recreational use to uncontrolled and compulsive
intake, often accompanied by chemical dependence. The primary therapeutic target of
drug abuse is the persistent craving experienced by abstinent patients that precedes
relapse to drug taking. Growing clinical and preclinical evidence indicates negative
affect and dysphoria as important contributors to drug and alcohol craving. Due to the
high comorbidity between drug use disorders and other psychological disorders,
including depression and anxiety, there is an interest in the potential use of readily
available antidepressant drugs as preventative treatments against drug and alcohol
relapse. This chapter provides an overview of preclinical and clinical research
investigating these indications, and explains the animal models used to obtain
information about the treatment potential of various pharmaceutical compounds.
Overviews of primary neurotransmitter targets and pharmacokinetic aspects of the
therapeutic compounds are provided throughout the chapter.
Antidepressants, central nervous system, addiction, alcoholism,
chemical dependence, neurochemical tolerance, stress, neurotransmitter,
Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA.