Pharmacotherapy is commonly and effectively being used to treat addictions

The neurotransmitter in the brain that promotes the normal and addictive behavior is dopamine; on the other hand serotonin can inhibit such behavior by inhibiting the level of dopamine in the body (Bucci and Bostwick). In all these cases salience is determined by the intensity of the DA pulse and opiates either endogenous or exogenous exemplify such modulations (Bucci and Bostwick). In the past psychoanalysis has been used to treat these disorders but the level of success has not been satisfactory. Psychoanalytic methods include counseling, group therapy and cognitive behavior techniques (Bucci and Bostwick).

Nowadays, pharmacotherapy is commonly and effectively being used to treat addictions and other compulsive disorders by regulating the level of dopamine in the body, it involves the injection of drugs that control the brain activities via receptors in the ventral tegmental area, the VTA (Raymond, Grant, Kim and Coleman). SSRI such as Naltrexone target the VTA and are designed to block opiates capacity to augment dopamine release in response to a reward such as sex or drugs. By acting on the reward centre, it suppresses the euphoria compulsive and devastating addictive behavior while at the same time providing the subject with similar “feel good” experiences that one would get from engaging in sexual exercise.

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