Drug addiction can significantly impact an individual’s life. From employment to family and social relationships, users can soon find that their craving for the drug overtakes any other commitment or responsibility. Overcoming a drug addiction can look very appealing to a user, but the user may not feel confident that recovery is possible.
Methamphetamine is an especially difficult drug to give up. Approximately a quarter of individuals who are addicted to the drug are able to recover from addiction completely, according to Dr. Bankole A. Johnson of the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine.
Dr. Johnson recently led a team that identified a new possibility for aiding in the treatment of methamphetamine addiction. Methamphetamine, say that authors of the study, is a very addictive drug, second only to heroin in its impact on users. Dr. Johnson says that the findings of the study are a significant breakthrough that may affect the recovery rates from methamphetamine addiction.
The researchers used a random trial to test the effectiveness of a medication on methamphetamine addiction at the University of Virginia, as well as seven other areas in the country. The participants consisted of a total of 140 people diagnosed as methamphetamine addicts who were each given a placebo or the drug Topiramate.
The medication is currently in use in the market as a treatment for alcohol addiction. The researchers tested to see whether the same medication could be used as a treatment for methamphetamine addiction, intended to reduce the level of methamphetamine use in addition to reducing relapse rates.
The finding comes following many years of research and ample funds spent to look for a solution to the growing methamphetamine addiction problem. Until the results of the study were published, there has been little encouragement in the development of a solution to methamphetamine addiction.
Dr. Nassima Aid-Daoud, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Addiction Research and Education, explains that the findings may provide help for some who struggle with methamphetamine addiction.
Because the use of drugs is so rewarding and drugs are powerful substances, it is difficult to identify treatments with medication that can compete with the rewards of the drugs and be powerful enough to have an impact. Aid-Daoud says that treating methamphetamine addiction is especially difficult, given its potency. Aid-Daoud says that methamphetamine is ten times more potent than cocaine.
Finding a way to treat methamphetamine addiction is especially critical because the side effects of the drug are so crippling. Those who use the drug heighten the risk of heart disease and can experience major dental problems. There is also an increased risk of contracting hepatitis and HIV.
The findings are published in a recent edition of the journal Addiction.