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BASIC PHARMACOLOGY OF DRUGS OF ABUSE
Since all addictive drugs increase dopamine concentrations in target structures of the mesolimbic projections, we classify them on the basis of their molecular targets and the underlying mecha-nisms (Table 32–1 and Figure 32–2). The first group contains the opioids, cannabinoids, γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and the hallucinogens, which all exert their action through Gioprotein-coupled receptors. The second group includes nicotine, alcohol,the benzodiazepines, dissociative anesthetics, and some inhal-ants, which interact with ionotropic receptors or ion channels.The last group comprises cocaine, amphetamines, and ecstasy, which all bind to monoamine transporters. The nonaddictive drugs are classified using the same criteria.
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