Sometimes, addiction to certain classes of drugs that clients need psychopharmacological intervention. There are drugs that prevent another drug from working properly and these are called agonist drugs. They bind to the neural receptor in the brain and act the same as the drug of choice (methadone is an agonist for heroin). Clients take the agonist drug to quiet those receptors from sending pain or strong “use” urges to the brain. Users experience a mild sensation that is similar to the high that they experienced with the drug of choice. Agonist drugs help clients to slowly reduce their use of the drug of choice. A good example of this is Chantix (agonist) used to help smokers reduce their reliance on nicotine. Then, there are some drugs that block the high and drug effects entirely. These are called antagonist drugs. These drugs completely block the high and cognitive effects that a user feels when using the drug of choice. However, it does not reduce the urge to use as agonist drugs do. A good example of this is Naltrexone (antagonist) used to quickly reverse the effects of opioids. Using the information from your reading in Chapter 33, identify and discuss at least one agonist and one antagonist drug. Explain how they can be used in an effective drug treatment program. Then, provide your opinion as to whether you think these would be effective or not.
Textbook-Doweiko, H. E. (2018). Concepts of chemical dependency, 10th edition.