The Neuropharmacology of Ethanol Self-Administration

  • F. Weiss
  • G. F. Koob


The abuse liability of ethanol is thought to derive primarily from its anxiolytic and euphoric effects. Together, these properties are believed to underlie the acute reinforcing actions of ethanol that, in turn, sustain continued abuse and thereby ultimately may lead to the development of dependence. An increasing body of evidence suggests that the rewarding and intoxicating effects of ethanol are mediated by its actions on one or more specific neurotransmitter systems in the brain (Faber and Klee, 1977; Kulonen, 1983; Liljequist and Engel, 1979; Myers, 1978b; Tabakoff, 1977). However, although there is tentative evidence linking certain transmitters—notably the catecholamines, opioids, gamma-amino butyric acid and serotonin—or their receptors to aspects of the intoxicating actions of ethanol, no exclusive role for any transmitter in ethanol reward or dependence has yet been established.


Ethanol Consumption Ethanol Intake Alcohol Preference Total Fluid Intake Ethanol Preference 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Weiss
  • G. F. Koob

There are no affiliations available

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