Naltrexone

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I’m on naltrexone for alcohol and I’m very confused about how it works. My snacks still make me happy. My video games make me happy. But alcohol is and isn’t. How do these things separate?

In: Chemistry

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Imagine you love eating sweets. When you taste sweet, your brain just loves it.

If you burn your tongue and kill all your taste buds, you can’t taste sweet anymore, and eating sweets loses its appeal.

Naltrexone does the same thing by preventing your brain’s pleasure center “taste buds” from tasting the alcohol. So you no longer love it, and basically don’t notice it at all for better or worse. But the trick is, if you can’t detect it, you can’t feel it, so you can’t get a high. Thus, you cannot become addicted.

The science jargon for this is that naltrexone is a selective inhibitor. It selectively blocks alcohol pleasure, but not sweets and video game fun.