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Alcohol Use Disorder Paper

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Running head: ALCOHOL USE DISORDER 1
Alcohol Use Disorder: Description and Pharmacological Treatment
Student name
University

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ALCOHOL USE DISORDER 2
Alcohol Use Disorder: Description and Pharmacological Treatment
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to discuss the pharmacological mechanisms of action and
effectiveness of each of the approved pharmacological medications used in treating alcohol use
disorder. The paper begins by offering a description of the disorder in terms of diagnostic
features, history of the development of the symptoms, prevalence, etiology, and non-
pharmacological treatments. This is followed by a discussion of each of the pharmacological
compounds, their history of development and approval, the neurochemical systems upon which
they act, and how their therapeutic actions are thought to be implemented. The discussion also
includes the side effects of the approved profiles and how they interact with food and other
drugs.
The paper notes that alcohol is a sedative or hypnotic substance whose long-term heavy
consumption leads to not only dependence, but also exposure to numerous physical and mental
health disorders. The paper notes that alcohol use disorder manifests itself as loss of control or
the inability of the victim to not being able to halt drinking once they have started. There is also
the manifestation of physical dependence, and this comprises withdrawal symptoms like nausea,
fretting, and unsteadiness when they do not drink. Several studies show that different
neurotransmitters ranging from endogenous opioids to dopamine, to serotonin, to gamma-
aminobutyric acid, to glutamate are affected or influence alcohol use disorder.
There is evidence that certain pharmacotherapy drugs are effective in treating alcohol
dependence. Such drugs include disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. The paper identifies
acamprosate to be the most effective drug since several clinical trials have produced highly
statistical significant numbers that show its elevated ability to decrease relapse rates and at the
same time boost abstinence rates. Acamprosate primarily exerts its influence by modulating
glutamatergic transmission and as part of the NMDA receptor interaction. Naltrexone is the
second most effective drug especially in terms of reducing cravings. The paper notes that it is a
mu-opioid antagonist with an elevated receptor affinity, something that gives it an effective
characteristic that helps in decreasing the alcohol reinforcing euphoric. These two drugs have
less severe side effects because they do not interact with the alcohol. The side effects include
diarrhea, reduced appetite, and insomnia. The other drug is disulfiram, which is an acetaldehyde
dehydrogenase inhibitor whose key mechanism of action is its ability to irreversibly constrain

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Running head: ALCOHOL USE DISORDER Alcohol Use Disorder: Description and Pharmacological Treatment Student name University 1 ALCOHOL USE DISORDER 2 Alcohol Use Disorder: Description and Pharmacological Treatment Abstract The aim of this paper is to discuss the pharmacological mechanisms of action and effectiveness of each of the approved pharmacological medications used in treating alcohol use disorder. The paper begins by offering a description of the disorder in terms of diagnostic features, history of the development of the symptoms, prevalence, etiology, and nonpharmacological treatments. This is followed by a discussion of each of the pharmacological compounds, their history of development and approval, the neurochemical systems upon which they act, and how their therapeutic actions are thought to be implemented. The discussion also includes the side effects of the approved profiles and how they interact with food and other drugs. The paper notes that alcohol is a sedative or hypnotic substance whose long-term heavy consumption leads to not only dependence, but also exposure to numerous physical and mental health disorders. The paper notes that alcohol use disorder manifests itself as loss of control or the inability of the victim to not being able to halt drinking once they have started. There is also the manifestation of physical dependence, and this comprises withdrawal symptoms like nausea, fretting, and unsteadiness when they do not drink. Several studies show ...
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