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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Using Naltrexone to Treat Methamphetamine Addiction

New research suggest that using the drug Naltrexone, typically used to treat alcoholism, may also be effective for treating methamphetamine addiction, UPI reports. A new study showed that methamphetamine-addicted patients' who were given Naltrexone showed a decreased desire for the drug and experienced a decrease in pleasure when using meth.

Methamphetamine addiction is often associated with high recidivism rates. Many meth users who seek treatment often return to the drug. Finding new ways to mitigate relapse could prove useful in the future of methamphetamine treatment.

At the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), researchers conducted a small study which included 22 men and eight women who used methamphetamine an average of three or four times a week, according to the article. The participants were given either Naltrexone, or a placebo, four out of the five-days they were in the hospital. The researchers then repeated the process ten days later, but they reversed who received the Naltrexone or the placebo.

On the last day of each five-day stay in the hospital the participants were given a dose of methamphetamine. They were then asked to report how they felt, and whether or not they wanted another dose. The participants that received the Naltrexone reported a diminished desire for the drug and said they enjoyed it less.

“The results were about as good as you could hope for,” researcher Lara Ray said in a news release.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is currently funding larger clinical trials of Naltrexone as a treatment for methamphetamine addiction.

The findings were published in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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