Opioids II pp 633-650 | Cite as

Motivational Effects of Opioids

  • T. S. Shippenberg
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 104 / 2)


A prominent behavioral effect of opiates and other drugs of abuse is their ability to affect both mood and motivational processes. μ-Receptor agonists such as morphine or heroin produce euphoria in humans and function as positive reinforcers in a variety of species, i.e., they maintain those behaviors which lead to their administration. These agents are also characterized by their ability to function as conditioned reinforcers eliciting approach and subsequent preferences for stimuli previously associated with their administration. Furthermore, in some individuals, the reinforcing effects of these drugs may become so marked that they become the primary stimuli which motivate behavior, and the process of compulsive drug-seeking or addiction ensues.


Nucleus Accumbens Opioid Receptor Ventral Tegmental Area Conditioned Place Preference Motivational Effect 
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  • T. S. Shippenberg

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