Between play and pain: the life cycle and the endogenous opiate system – Ansgar Rougemont-Bücking

The aim of the previous day is to illustrate the basic functions of the endogenous opiate system. This system plays an important role in mammals in the neural processing of pleasurable as well as unpleasant stimuli. For example, the joyful social interaction with other people (play, social bonding) a process that is mediated by endogenous opiates in the brain. In return, the sudden loss of a loved one (separation distress) is a highly painful mental process, which is also mediated in the endogenous opiate system in the form of a deficiency or remission syndrome. It is known that opiate agents such as morphine, methadone, etc. have long been an integral part of medical treatment in medicine, where they are prescribed here exclusively for pain treatment and substitution treatment in severe opioid dependence. Against the background of fundamental insights into the importance of the opiate system in the perception of joyful or painful interpersonal relationships, the question has been discussed for some years whether prescription of opioid drugs in psychiatric crisis situations can not be sensible and safe. Based on clinical case studies, the lecture illustrates the great relevance of this question and presents the current status of this discussion.