Subst Alcohol Actions Misuse. 1984-85; 5(6): 281-91.
Functional opioid activity variates according to the different fashion of alcohol abuse.
Two groups of alcohol addicts (total of 14 subjects), were submitted to Traditional Manual Acupuncture and pituitary hormone plasma levels, including B-Endorphin (B-EP), were measured in basal condition and after 1, 5, 20 and 60 minutes from needle withdrawal. Group A patients had a polarity towards negative affective tone presenting signs of dysphoria while group B was composed of the so-called "social drinkers". No difference existed in basal hormonal values, except slightly elevated plasma B-EP levels in group A. No significant responses to TMA were recorded in plasma ACTH, Cortisol, Prolactin or GH levels in groups A and B. Social drinkers showed an increase of B-EP plasma levels in response to TMA (128 +/- 62.1%, mean +/- SD) which on the contrary was absent in dysphoric alcoholics (2.8 +/- 38.6%, p less than 0.01). The same was true for B-Lipotropin plasma levels. These preliminary results suggest that different fashions of alcohol abuse may be associated with different reactivity of the endogenous opioid system.