A) Alcohol is thought to stimulate the release of endogenous opioids, which may produce the euphoric feelings associated with alcohol consumption. B) Endogenous opioids (e.g., beta-endorphin) are released into the synapse (the space between the signaling and target neurons) and C) stimulate activity at opiate receptors, which produces a signal in the target neuron. D) Exogenous opiates such as morphine also stimulate opiate receptors. E) Naltrexone is thought to block opioids from activating opiate receptors.
Source: Volpicelli, J.R., et al. Naltrexone and the treatment of alcohol dependence. Alcohol Health & Research World 18(4):272–278, 1994.
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Updated: October 2000