The GABA receptors are a class of receptors that respond to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, the chief inhibitory compound in the mature vertebrate central nervous system.
The receptors are known as “reward centres”, causing pleasure - or the high associated with drug use.
GABA-A receptors are the main fast inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the human brain, and targets for many drugs used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. There are significant risks associated with the long-term use of these drugs particularly related to development of tolerance and addiction.
Naltrexone blocks the high generated by the GABA-A receptors. Dr O’neil developed the naltrexone implants for heroin addiction, but in recent years has treated hundreds of people each year for methamphetamine addiction.