Neuropsychopharmacology of Opiate Dependence

  • Rafael Maldonado
  • Luis Stinus
  • George F. Koob
Part of the Neuroscience Intelligence Unit book series (NIU.LANDES)


Opiate drugs are powerful and widely-used analgesic agents. However, their chronic administration is limited by the development of tolerance, indicated by a lowered responsiveness to the drug, coupled with dependence which is evidenced by a heightened responsiveness to opiate antagonists and disturbances upon withdrawal of drugs. These phenomena result from cellular and molecular mechanisms, considered as adaptive processes that develop in response to repeated administration of the drugs, and persist long after the drug has been cleared from the central nervous system. Two types of mechanisms have been proposed to account for these processes: a within-adaptive system and/or a between-adaptive system.1−4


Locus Coeruleus Withdrawal Syndrome Neurobiological Mechanism Chronic Morphine Morphine Withdrawal 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Maldonado
    • 1
  • Luis Stinus
    • 2
  • George F. Koob
    • 3
  1. 1.Pharmacochimie Moléculaire et StructuraleParisFrance
  2. 2.Université de Bordeaux IIBordeaux CédexFrance
  3. 3.The Scripps Research InstituteLa JollaUSA

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