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Pharmacodynamics of addictive substances 

Pharmacodynamics of addictive substances
Chapter:
Pharmacodynamics of addictive substances
Author(s):

David J. Nutt

and Liam J. Nestor

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198797746.003.0006
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date: 24 June 2019

Pharmacodynamics refers to the effects addictive substances have on the body. Acutely, substances of addiction target various neurotransmitter systems in the brain. The pharmacological actions of these substances at receptors results in their physiological and psychological effects. The chronic abuse of these substances, however, leads to pharmacodynamic tolerance at receptors within neurotransmitter systems and leads to addiction. This tolerance means that a greater amount of the substance is required to achieve the desired effect and it has significant implications for relapse during early abstinence in addiction. Treatments target these neurotransmitter disturbances in addiction to prevent relapse.

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