There are no pharmaceutical treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration for methamphetamine use, abuse, and addiction. This does not mean that no drugs are in clinical trials or in use for helping those that are addicted to meth. Many researchers and government officials are calling for research into several medications for treatment of this dangerous addiction. This call has spurred researchers into evaluating existing medications for treatment of meth withdrawal and abuse.
There are several types of medications currently under study for treatment of meth abuse and addiction. Although the solution to treating this dangerous addiction, some medications are proving very useful.
Dextroamphetamine is another stimulant similar to methamphetamine. According to Colgate University, doctors use Dextroamphetamine to combat methamphetamine addiction and abuse. By switching these two drugs, they can break the cycle of abuse.
Dextroamphetamine is so similar to methamphetamine that it works on meth addicts like methadone works on heroin addicts. It is one of the few stimulants that is not nearly as addictive as meth. It may work to combat the cravings and withdrawal that meth addicts feel.
This is not common practice though. Many doctors believe that the use of stimulants like Dextroamphetamine is just switching one amphetamine for another. This is not entirely true. Dextroamphetamine is far less addictive nor does it have the same physical and mental consequences as methamphetamine does.
This class of drugs is known to block the body's ability to remove dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin from the blood. These are all mood stabilizing neurotransmitters. When someone is addicted to meth, it binds to the receptors for these neurotransmitters effectively increasing the production of the happy chemicals in the brain.
By blocking these, monoamine reuptake inhibitors help the body to return to a more normal state. Once this happens, it can help to stop meth users from continuing their addiction by reducing cravings. The current research into these drugs is still in its infancy, although many of the clinical trials are being fast tracked through the clinical trials process.
Topiramate is a drug that is currently useful for treating those addicted to alcohol. In 2012, around 140 participants tried it for their methamphetamine addiction. According to the University of Virginia's addiction specialist, Dr. Bankole Johnson, the study showed that Topiramate significantly reduced a person's chances of relapsing.
This is great news because topiramate may be useful in treating multiple addictions or a combined addiction to alcohol and methamphetamine. Research on the practical applications of this drug are currently ongoing.
Although fluoxetine is currently a treatment for depression, according to the Food and Drug Administration, it shows promise in treating various addictions. The antidepressant properties of SSRI's particularly fourth generation medications are extremely helpful for those suffering from stimulant addiction.
Many meth addicts suffer from severe depression caused by their meth addiction. Others suffer from depression and take methamphetamine to self-medicate. When you end the depression, it sometimes ends the cravings for meth and other stimulant drugs.
Although this treatment is not perfect, it is a start. By researching what about these drugs helps meth addicts, doctors can find new combinations to help end the addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ibudilast or AV411 is currently under testing for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction and abuse. This drug suppresses the neuroinflammatory reactions of specific cells in the nervous system.
This inhibits the action of methamphetamines. When this happens your desire to use meth decreases and you do not get high off it when you do use it.
Although this action is only seen in rats for the moment, this drug is being fast tracked through clinical trials. They use rats to test many of these drugs because they are neurologically similar to humans. The success in rats is a good indicator that ibudilast will be successful in preventing methamphetamine addiction and abuse in humans.
It may be years before drugs like ibudilast are on the market for meth addiction but there is hope. Someday soon drugs that prevent the withdrawal symptoms of meth discontinuation will be on the market, just like they are for heroin addiction.
As researchers continue to experiment with different combinations of drugs, a drug that prevents withdrawal becomes more and more likely. AV411 is only one of the new meth addiction medications that researchers are conducting trials on. Many more are in the various stages of research and development. So many that we may see a new drug for meth addiction available on the market very soon.
Although none of these medications are currently approved for methamphetamine addiction, doctors are currently using a few of them as off label prescriptions. This means that the drug is approved for a different condition but is a drug used to treat meth use, abuse, and addiction as well.
Some treatment centers offer entry into clinical trials for patients that fit the criteria. The criteria depends on the drug and the individual meth user. If you are interested in these clinical trials, you should ask your treatment center about them. Remember that experimental drugs may be dangerous.
Despite being fast tracked, these drugs take years to develop and test. Right now, the only treatment for meth addiction that is approved by the FDA is behavioral treatment and therapy. Most treatment centers recommend a combination of medication and counseling whenever possible.
Just because these medications are in the clinical trial phase, it does not mean that you cannot still get meth addiction treatment. Treatment centers still offer a vast variety of counseling and behavioral treatments that are highly successful in ending meth use, abuse, and addiction.
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