D2 receptors are a particular dopamine receptor subtype that appears to be crucial in addiction. D2 receptors are located in the striatum, which is a key brain region for processing reinforcement signals from drugs of abuse. Many drugs of abuse increase dopamine release in the striatum and this increase is associated with the reinforcing or “rewarding” effects of these drugs.
D2 receptor antagonists are a type of medication that works by blocking the effects of dopamine at the D2 receptors. This can help treat conditions such as schizophrenia, as well as addiction. Because D2 receptor antagonists can cause a reduction in the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, there is some interest in using these medications to treat addiction.
However, it is important to note that D2 receptor antagonists are not a “cure” for addiction, and they should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes other therapies and supports services.« Back to Glossary Index