An antagonist is a drug that blocks or reduces the effects of another drug by binding to the same receptors in the brain. An antagonist drug is often used to reduce cravings and prevent relapse by blocking the effects of the addictive substance.
For example, naltrexone is an antagonist for opioid receptors and is used to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. It blocks the effects of opioids, reducing cravings and preventing relapse.
Another example is acamprosate, which is used to treat alcohol addiction. It works by modulating the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing cravings, and improving the likelihood of sustained abstinence.
Antagonist-based treatment is a form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). It is often used with other forms of therapy, support groups, and lifestyle changes to support long-term recovery.