- Chasing the Dragon Away: Personality as a protective factor and extended-release naltrexone as a treatment for heroin dependence
W. van den Brink
- Award date
- 24 September 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
Opioid dependence causes severe problems for patients and their family members and imposes an enormous economic burden on society.
The main objectives of this thesis were (a) to gain better insight in the process of getting addicted to heroin in order to develop personality-based prevention strategies, by studying distinctive personality patterns in heroin users that became heroin dependent and heroin users that never became dependent; (b) to assess the interest of heroin dependent patients and their treatment providers in treatments directed at total abstinence and specifically in the treatment with extended-release naltrexone (XRNT); and (c) to study whether treatment with XRNT in heroin dependent patients results in decreased striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability and in anhedonia and depression as potential side-effects.
From this thesis, it can be concluded (a) that there are distinctive personality traits that form a risk for or protect against heroin use and heroin dependence that may be used for the development of personality-targeted personalized interventions; (b) that many patients are interested in becoming fully abstinent and in treatment with XRNT; (c) that treatment with (extended-release) naltrexone seems to have no significant effect on striatal DAT availability and is not associated with a reduced pleasurable response to natural rewarding activities (anhedonia).
- Please note that the sections 'Dankwoord (Acknowledgements)' (pp. 115-116), 'About the author' (p. 117), and 'Dedication' (p. ) are not included in the thesis downloads.
Thesis (Embargo until 24 September 2017)
Chapter 3: Acceptability of extended-release naltrexone by heroin dependent patients and addiction treatment providers in The Netherlands (Embargo until 24 September 2017)
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