Alcohol and Drug Dependence research
Alcohol is one of the most widely used/abused psychoactive substances. While most societies approve of moderate alcohol use, chronic and/or excessive drinking is a hazard to both health and public safety. In developed countries alcohol abuse and alcoholism afflict nearly 5 % of the population. Despite considerable scientific and industrial efforts, there are no drugs available for an efficient treatment of alcoholism. This is partially explained by the fact, that alcohol, unlike most psychoactive drugs, does not produce its actions via a cognate receptor system. Instead, alcohol modulates directly or indirectly a variety of systems including neurotransmitter systems. We are investigating molecular mechanisms of alcohol action that are mediated through the opioid neurotransmission system.