This review summarizes our current knowledge of the pharmacological treatment of substance use disorders and pathological gambling using data mainly from randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses regarding these randomized controlled trials. The review is restricted to the selection of first and second line pharmacological treatments for smoking, alcohol dependence, opioid dependence, cocaine dependence, cannabis dependence and pathological gambling. It is concluded that great progress has been made in the last three decades and that currently evidence-based pharmacological treatments are available for smoking cessation, alcohol and opioid dependence and pathological gambling. At the same time a series of existing and new pharmacological compounds are being tested in cocaine and cannabis dependence. The review concludes with a summary of additional strategies to increase the effect size of already available pharmacological interventions, including polypharmacy, combining pharmacotherapy with psychotherapy and psychosocial support, and improved patient-treatment matching.
Keywords: Addiction, dependence, pathological gambling, pharmacogenomics, pharmacological treatment, review, smoking, substance use disorders, varenicline, receptor
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